Dáil Éireann - Volume 574 - 13 November, 2003

Written Answers. - House Prices.

  253. Mr. Grealish asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the date he received the DKM report on proposals for the production of accurate and comprehensive house price figures; the action he has taken to create a mixed-adjusted house price index and identifications of a comprehensive house price data, especially in relation to first-time buyers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26928/03]

  Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. N. Ahern): DKM economic consultants were engaged to examine the house price information received by my Department and to consider proposals for improvements, including a methodology for future data collection and analysis. DKM presented the study of house price statistics report in July 2001. One of the recommendations was the design and production of a mix-adjusted house price index.

  Following on from the recommendations set out in the DKM report, my Department appointed FD Systems and Mazars Consulting in April 2003 to develop and implement a new house price statistics system. A user group, comprising of representatives of all the major lending institutions and local authorities, has been established. This group provides a forum for data providers to have input into the specification of the type and format of data to be supplied to the Department.

  When implemented, the new house price statistics system will facilitate the gathering of more comprehensive data from all the major lending institutions, thereby enabling more timely and [914]comprehensive analysis of key trends in the housing market, including, for example, analysis of units purchased for owner occupation or investment purposes. The new system will incorporate the production of a mix-adjusted house price index, which not only reflects house price variations but also changes in the proportion of property types purchased. The mix-adjusted house price index will incorporate characteristics such as, region, age of dwelling, type of buyer, including first time buyer, house type and number of rooms. The system is expected to go live in early 2004.