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Housing Market: Key Economic Indicators

Published Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Housing market: Data on house prices, mortgage approvals and house-building.

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House prices, as measured by the UK House Price Index, increased by 5.8% between February 2016 and February 2017. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.6% between January and February 2017.

There are regional differences in house prices. The average price is highest in London at roughly £475,000. The lowest prices are found the North East and Northern Ireland at £124,000 and £125,000 respectively.

UK House Price Index, monthly % change

Mortgage approvals in February 2017 were down by 1.2% on the previous month and 5.6% down on a year ago. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 68,315 mortgage approvals in February 2017, compared with 72,367 in February 2016.

Bank of England data on the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases are a leading indicator of house sales.

UK mortgage approvals

Housing starts increased by 5% in Q4 2016 compared with Q3 2016. Housing starts and completions have increased from the lows observed in late 2008 and early 2009 but remain below pre-recession levels.

There were 41,620 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q4 2016, a 5% increase on the previous quarter, and up 13% on the same quarter of 2015. This is above the recent low of 17,150 in Q1 2009, but still below the 48,970 starts in Q1 2007.

There were 35,980 dwelling completions (seasonally adjusted) in Q4 2016, down 4% on the previous quarter and down 2% on the same quarter of 2015. Completions remain below the peak of 48,440 completions in Q1 2007.

Housing starts and completions, England


Commons Briefing papers SN02820

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Housing

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