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Housing Market: Key Economic Indicators

Published Wednesday, September 18, 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 0.7% between July 2018 and July 2019. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices decreased by 0.3% between June 2019 and July 2019.

There are regional differences in house prices. The average price is highest in London at roughly £478,000. The lowest prices are found in Northern Ireland and the North East at £137,000 and £127,000 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 July 2019 were up 3.3% on a year ago and up 1.2% on June 2019. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 67,306 mortgage approvals in July 2019, compared with 65,168 in July 2018.

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 36,630 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q1 2019, a 9% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a 9% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2018. This is above the recent low of 17,120 in Q1 2009, but still below the 48,920 starts in Q1 2007.

There were 42,870 dwelling completions (seasonally adjusted) in Q1 2019, a 1% increase compared with the previous quarter, and a 14% increase compared with the same quarter of 2018. Completions remain below the peak of 48,430 completions in Q1 2007.

Housing starts and completions

Commons Briefing papers SN02820

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Housing

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