Similarly, some indexes show house prices falling and others rising. Which one should you believe? Should it affect your decision on when to move home?
The most reliable index is the Land Registry's, whose data relates to real transactions that have completed. However, keep in mind that the data relates to transactions that have been registered with the Land Registry and that the prices will probably have been negotiated some months before. Therefore, statistics published in the Autumn could relate to the state of the market in the previous Spring or early Summer.
The Land Registry's most recently published data shows that as of August 2018, property prices in the UK have risen by 3.2% compared to the previous year. The volume of transactions recorded also shows an increase of 1.7% over the previous year.
What does this mean? That despite gloomy economic predictions and the uncertainty over Brexit, the housing market is in surprisingly good shape.
It is very difficult to predict what will happen to house prices over the next few months or years. Will Brexit have an adverse impact? Or will the forthcoming royal baby produce a feel-good effect that might actually make prices rise?
House price data is just one aspect that should be taken into account when deciding whether to buy. Buying a home is a long-term proposition and therefore the price paid may well be irrelevant when you come to sell in the future. Whether you need to move as well as affordability are more important considerations.