Housing market: Data on house prices, mortgage approvals and house-building.

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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.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have temporarily suspended the House Price Index. The coronavirus pandemic has reduced the amount of housing transactions, making it difficult to produce a measure of house prices that would be representative of any true transaction activity within the housing market.

When last measured by the ONS, house prices increased by 2.1% between March 2019 and March 2020. On a seasonally adjusted basis house prices increased by 0.1% between February 2020 and March 2020.

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. 

In May 2020, mortgage approvals fell to their lowest level since records began in 1993. Approvals increased in June 2020 but are still 46% lower than they were in February 2020. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage approvals were down on levels seen before the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

UK mortgage approvals

Housing starts and completions have increased from the lows observed in late 2008 and early 2009.

There were 34,260 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q4 2019, a 11% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a 17% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2018. This is above the recent low of 17,170 in Q1 2009, but still below the 48,850 starts in Q1 2007.

There were 44,980 house building completions (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q4 2019, a 1% decrease compared with the previous quarter, but a 3% increase compared with the same quarter of 2018. Completions remain below the peak of 48,520  completions in Q1 2007.

Housing starts and completions

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