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Housing Market: Key Economic Indicators

Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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 4.4% between February 2017 and February 2018. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.2% between January 2018 and February 2018.

There are regional differences in house prices. The average price is highest in London at roughly £472,000. The lowest prices are found in Northern Ireland and the North East at £130,500 and £128,000 respectively.

UK house price index

Bank of England data on the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases are a leading indicator of house sales. Mortgage approvals for house purchases in March 2018 were down 6.8% on a year ago and down 1.4% on February 2018. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 62,914 mortgage approvals in March 2018, compared with 67,529 in March 2017

Mortgage approvals, UK

Housing starts and completions have increased from the lows observed in late 2008 and early 2009 but remain below pre-recession levels.

There were 40,070 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q3 2017, a 4% decrease compared with the previous quarter, but a 1% increase compared with the same quarter of 2016. This is above the recent low of 17,110 in Q1 2009, but still below the 48,980 starts in Q1 2007.

There were 39,250 dwelling completions (seasonally adjusted) in Q3 2017, a 2% decrease compared with the previous quarter, but a 5% increase compared with the same quarter of 2016. Completions remain below the peak of 48,440 completions in Q1 2007.

House-building, England

Commons Briefing papers SN02820

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Housing

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