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The housing market has slowed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the public health measures taken to slow its spread.

House prices, as measured by the UK House Price Index, increased by 2.5% between August 2019 and August 2020. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.5% between July 2020 and August 2020.

House prices grew at different rates across the UK’s countries and regions over the year to August 2020. House prices grew by 3.6% in East Midlands and 3.5% in London and North West. Growth was slowest in Scotland (0.6%) and North East (0.2%).

House price index

Bank of England data on the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases are a leading indicator of house sales. 

In September 2020 mortgage approvals exceeded 90,000 for the first time since September 2007. Mortgage approvals had fallen to a record low in May 2020 as a result of the lockdown designed to slow the spread of coronavirus. There were 91,454 mortgage approvals in September 2020 compared with 65,780 in September 2019. Mortgage approvals remain down on levels seen before the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Mortgage approvals

Housing starts and completions fell sharply in Q2 2020 reflecting the coronavirus lockdown.

There were 15,930 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q2 2020, a 52% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a 59% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2019.

There were 15,950 house building completions (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q2 2020, a 62% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a 64% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2019.

Housing starts and completions


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