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Housing Market: Key Economic Indicators

Published Thursday, January 17, 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 2.8% between November 2017 and November 2018. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.1% between October 2018 and November 2018.

There are regional differences in house prices. The average price is highest in London at roughly £473,000. The lowest prices are found in Northern Ireland and the North East at £135,000 and £132,000 respectively. London is the only region in which prices have fallen over the past year.

UK house prices index, monthly % change, seasonally adjusted

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 November 2018 were down 1.7% on a year ago and 4.5% on October 2018. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 63,728 mortgage approvals in November 2018, compared with 64,854 in November 2017.

UK mortgage approvals

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

There were 44,740 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q3 2018, a 12% increase compared with the previous quarter, and a 12% increase compared with the same quarter of 2017. This is above the recent low of 17,120 in Q1 2009, but still below the 48,920 starts in Q1 2007.

There were 41,270 dwelling completions (seasonally adjusted) in Q3 2018, broadly similar to the previous quarter and a 3% increase compared with the same quarter of 2017. Completions remain below the peak of 48,430 completions in Q1 2007.

Housing starts and completions, England

Commons Briefing papers SN02820

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Housing

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