Media distorts truth over house prices

Once again certain sections of the mainstream media have been engaging in the time-honoured tradition of journalism: headlines that are truthful but misleading, accompanied by selecting facts carefully to bolster falsehood. Headlines that house prices are soaring are way off the mark.

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The reality is very different but national newspapers rarely allow facts to get in the way of a good story. In the last year house prices in England as a whole have risen by +3.7%. Just one region in England reaches and exceeds this rate, and that is London at +9.7%. In most of the other regions the increase is more modest and in some regions there has been a fall (including the North-West at -0.7%).

When one adjusts the figures for a general price inflation of 2.7%, to arrive at the change in real values, one finds that nationally prices have increased by +1.0%. This doesn’t sound so good, does it? And, of course, you can’t make a decent newspaper headline out of it.

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British newspapers make much of their contribution to society, which on occasion is true. Unfortunately for most of the time a large part of their output is distorted, deceitful and deceptive. Thank goodness other sources of news are now available to set the record straight.

Kevin Hey