16:20 PM, 7th June 2011, About 13 years ago 1
Yet another property index is churning out data in a crowded market – this time for buy to let from landlord insurance firm Homelet.
The Homelet Rental Index lines up with four other established market surveys looking at the private residential letting sector.
Homelet claims the survey provides ‘unique’ data because of the size of the sample, but the information seems to come from the same letting agents quizzed as part of the other surveys:
One of the key figures is average rents – for April, the average UK buy to let rent was £692 a month according to LSL Property Services and £746 a month according to Homelet.
Clearly the figures are confusing for landlords and both or one survey is incorrect.
The problem is these surveys generate valuable column inches in the media for the company producing the data which they would not receive if they collated their data in to a single index with a broad sample that is likely to prove more accurate.
House price surveys have a similar problem of confusing homeowners with conflicting data. The government has asked the Office of National Statistics to look at compiling an authoritative index from the mish-mash of current returns from government agencies, lenders and estate agents.
To date, this has resulted in a lot of talking but little action or feedback.
*A sentiment survey is based on opinions, while a sample survey is based on numerical data