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Housing Market: Key Economic Indicators

Published Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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 1.3% between September 2018 and September 2019. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.2% between August 2019 and September 2019.

There are regional differences in house prices. The average price is highest in London at roughly £475,000. The lowest prices are found in Northern Ireland and the North East at £140,000 and £133,000 respectively.

UK house price index, monthly % change

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 October 2019 were down 3.3% on a year ago and down 1.8% on September 2019. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 64,602 mortgage approvals in October 2019, compared with 66,804 in October 2018.

Housing starts and completions have increased from the lows observed in late 2008 and early 2009.

There were 37,220 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q2 2019, a 2% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and an 8% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2018. This is above the recent low of 17,170 in Q1 2009, but still below the 48,830 starts in Q1 2007.

There were 45,190 dwelling completions (seasonally adjusted) in Q2 2019, a 4% increase compared with the previous quarter, and a 11% increase compared with the same quarter of 2018. Completions remain below the peak of 48,440 completions in Q1 2007.

Housing starts and completions

Commons Briefing papers SN02820

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Housing

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