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

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) are temporarily suspending the House Price Index. Coronavirus is reducing 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. 

The housing market slowed following the public health measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Mortgage approvals for house purchases in May 2020 were down 85.8% on a year ago and down 41.5% on April 2020. Approvals remain well down on pre-recession levels. There were 9,273 mortgage approvals in May 2020, compared with 65,184 in May 2019.

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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