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House prices, as measured by the UK House Price Index, increased by 2.2% between May 2023 and May 2024. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.6% between April 2024 and May 2024.

House prices changed at different rates across the UK’s countries and regions over the year to April. House prices grew fastest in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North West. However, Northern Ireland’s house prices are measured over a different period (the year to quarter 1 of 2024). House prices fell in London and the South East.

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 reached a lockdown-related record low in May 2020. Approvals then increased significantly towards the end of 2020 but are now lower.

Mortgage approvals for house purchases in May 2024 were up 19% on a year ago and down 1% on April 2024.

There were 59,991 mortgage approvals in May 2024, compared with 50,340 in May 2023.

Housing starts and completions fell sharply in Q2 2020 reflecting the coronavirus lockdown. They are now higher.

There were 22,310 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q1 2024, a 11% increase compared with the previous quarter, but a 41% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2023. This unusually low amount is likely due to house builders bringing forward the start of projects to avoid the costs of complying with new building regulatory standards, which caused a peak in Q2 2023 of 66,780 starts. The new standards, which relate to energy performance and electric vehicle charging point, were introduced from 15 June 2023.

There were 34,630 house building completions (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q1 2024, a 12% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a 12% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2023.


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