Publication of July house sales figures delayed while data rechecked back to March

The government has admitted that several months of its official statistics on UK housing sales may be wrong.

Sales data are published monthly by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), but the figures for July have been held back after errors became suspected.

Publication of the data for July, which was due today, has been postponed until 21 September so that the figures can be checked for as far back as March.

The possibility of errors appears to have come to light while the figures were being compared against date from previous months.

Outputs obtained while updating the monthly series were found to contain “significant and unexplained differences” from earlier figures, according to the BBC.

“Our statisticians have come to the conclusion that something doesn’t look quite right,” HMRC is reported to have said.