Media distorts truth over house prices

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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.

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.

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

Colne