Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2004 18:17 UK

How to use these figures

The UK house price data sets are updated every three months and cover the whole of the UK's property market, excluding business sales.

Although the data are an accurate reflection of the market, there is a lag of several weeks between the publication of the figures and the dates that they refer to.

They are collected by different organisations in different parts of the UK. As a result there are slight differences in the amount of detail each set of figures provides.

England and Wales

In England and Wales the Land Registry compiles the figures.

The data is broken down by type of house (for example detached, semi-detached etc) as well as by region, county, local authority and postcode region.

The figures are not adjusted for seasonal variations and other possible effects on the housing market.

The Land Registry numbers cover the vast majority of sales in England and Wales, but there are some exceptions.

They do not include any commercial transactions, discounted right to buys sales and leases for 21 years or less.

It is also worth remembering that data may not be representative if during the time period there have been only a few sales in a given area.

For this reason the Land Registry does not show the number of sales in area if there were fewer than three.

Scotland

In Scotland prices are compiled every quarter by the Registers of Scotland Executive Agency. Unlike England and Wales the data is not recorded by house type.

The data is available for the whole of Scotland, and for each Scottish county.

However, the county boundaries used for this purpose date from 1975. Today's local authorities have slightly different boundaries.

Furthermore, the figures do not include properties sold for less than £20,000 or more than £1m.

Neither do they include any properties that have been inherited, or property changing hand following divorce settlements.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland the figures are collected by the University of Ulster and the Bank of Ireland.

They use sample data based on about 2,000 sales a quarter.

As a result calculating changes in prices between different quarters could be statistically unreliable and is therefore not provided on these pages.

Entries marked 'not applicable' (N/A)

As explained above, different parts of the UK collect different types of data. This means that N/A will appear in Scottish entries when comparing information by house type or showing volume of sales because this data is not available.

Similarly, Northern Ireland figures do not cover percentage change or volume of sales and N/A will also appear in these fields in the table.

In England and Wales, some local authority areas will not have any sales in a property type in one quarter. Therefore, no percentage change calculations can be made and these entries will also show up as N/A.



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