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Housing Market: Key Economic Indicators

Published Wednesday, October 17, 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 3.2% between August 2017 and August 2018. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.3% between July 2018 and August 2018.

There are regional differences in house prices. The average price is highest in London at roughly £486,000. The lowest prices are found in Northern Ireland and the North East at £133,000 and £134,000 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 August 2018 were down 0.4% on a year ago but up 2.0% on July 2018. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 66,440 mortgage approvals in July 2018, compared with 66,696 in August 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 38,730 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q2 2018, a 4% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a 4% decrease 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 40,550 dwelling completions (seasonally adjusted) in Q2 2018, a 7% increase compared with the previous quarter and a 1% increase compared with the same quarter of 2017. Completions remain below the peak of 48,430 completions in Q1 2007.

House building, England

Commons Briefing papers SN02820

Author: Matthew Keep

Topics: Economic situation, Housing

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