Last updated on September 6th, 2011
You have to be careful with statistics.
(especially when you are trying to deceive!)
The graph shown at the left appears on the BBC website alongside the panic and doom inducing headline; UK house price fall ‘at a record’. It was repeated many times, even on national TV news on all stations.
The thing is that statistics can be used to prove virtually anything, and the graph at the left really does look pretty bad – if you’re a home-owner, or pretty good – if you’re looking to buy for the first time.
However, I’ve checked one of the data sources, The Halifax one, to see the real trend – the real numbers.
And Here They Are!
(now see the truth!)
The red line is average house prices since 1983 and the blue line is the annual month-on-month change in those prices.
What we clearly see is something quite different to the chart on the BBC website and elsewhere.
The blue line is the equivalent to the lines on the BBC website. It doesn’t look so gloom laden now, does it? In fact the worst bit of the blue line was in 1989 when Thatcher was still in power!
The bit that the media is using to keep the population in a state of dire anxiety is the teeny little fall on the blue line at the right hand end! That is the only bit that’s shown in the top chart!
The red line (actual house prices) shows a nice steady rise all the way through the current labour government’s tenure until the little recent fall. This is wholly outside the government’s control and yet they are mysteriously been blamed for it and somehow are supposed to fix it, saving people’s embarrassment about their profligate recent over-spending!
For those with excel, the link is for a downloadable spreadsheet with the chart above embedded into the Halifax’s source data. It’s the real thing – decide the truth for yourself!
Strangely Perfect made it.