Fiona Mactaggart – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Fiona Mactaggart on 2014-03-27.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made made of the accuracy of the ONS index of rental prices; and what recent assessment he has of the changes in the cost of private renting in Slough since 2010.

Kris Hopkins

The Office for National Statistics responded quickly to the need for better data by developing the quarterly Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, first published in June 2013 and dating back to January 2005 for England.

Currently the Office for National Statistics is consulting users of the index to identify improvements. The index is produced with a robust methodology, which is published and is based on extensive administrative data on rental values including both on-going and newly agreed tenancy agreements. Once the methodology is further tested and assessed, and the publication meets user needs, the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices will be assessed against the Code of Practice to achieve National Statistic status.

The index is available for Great Britain and its constituent countries; however it is not available at local authority district level. According to most recent figures the average cost of privately renting housing in England increased by 1.0 per cent in the 12 months to December 2013 – a fall in real terms.