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ONS Launches New Tool For Property and Rental Price Research at Local Level

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    ONS Makes Local Property Market Data More Accessible

    For property investors searching for buy-to-let opportunities, research is key to finding the right location for an investment. While there is a wealth of reliable and up-to-date resources at a national and regional level, there are not as many for smaller, local areas that you may want to look into.

    That’s why it’s good news for investors that the Office of National Statistics has just launched a new tool that displays how property prices and the private rental sector are changing in local authority areas across Britain.

    While the ONS will continue releasing their main bulletin for the whole UK and its regions, revealing rental inflation in the private sector and updating its House Price Index, now there will also be an up-to-date and accessible resource detailing this information at a local level.

    Further Reading: Find out about buy-to-let properties in London or investing in Birmingham with our online guides and insights.

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      What Can the New ONS Tool Tell Me About My Local Area?

      This new resource allows users to search by local authority area and will show the latest official average pricing data, revealing how values have changed over time and house price growth for different property types and sizes.

      The tool displays data regarding private rents in the council area, such as how much they cost and how they have changed over time. Users can also filter by different property types and sizes.

      Users can now painlessly compare their target area to other regions when it comes to house prices and rental information.

      The ONS previously released this information via a large spreadsheet. This new tool has improved accessibility greatly and allows property investors and anyone interested to track local property market changes quickly. According to ONS, the tool is “a new product in Beta release, intended to improve the accessibility of housing market data at a local level.”

      The tool can be found on the ONS website.

      Learn More: Look at our guides to learn more about the cost of letting a property and get advice on forming a real estate business plan.

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      What Are the Best Resources for Property Market Research?

      Location research is imperative when making a property investment, so what are the best resources for conducting this?

      The most reliable information comes from the HM Land Registry and the Office of National Statistics. The Land Registry releases a complete House Price Index (HPI), and the ONS publishes a Price Index of Private Rents (PIPR). Their reports are updated monthly and based on official government data, making them the most comprehensive resources freely available online.

      However, as these are government resources, extra time is taken to ensure the data is as reliable and error-free as possible. This means these reports are behind compared to other house price and rental indices. For example, the next UK HPI will be published on 17th April 2024, but it will detail statistics for February 2024.

      Therefore, it’s also worth looking at more up-to-date indices and government data. For this, many investors will read reports from online property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove or mortgage providers such as Nationwide and Halifax. While these aren’t as comprehensive as government publications, as they are based on more limited information, they release monthly data updates from the previous month, making them more timely. The research is also often accompanied by industry experts’ commentary, helping to contextualise the trends.

      Learn more about the UK property market with our dedicated buy-to-let area guides, covering topics such as investment property available in Ipswich and buy-to-let Battersea.

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      Jessica Ferris

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      Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.