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House prices, as measured by the UK House Price Index, decreased by 0.2% between February 2023 and February 2024. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.7% between January 2024 and February 2024.

House prices changed at different rates across the UK’s countries and regions over the year to February. House prices grew fastest in Scotland, the North East and Northern Ireland. However, Northern Ireland’s house prices are measured over a different period (the year to quarter 4 of 2023). House prices fell fastest in London, the West Midlands and the South East.

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 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 February 2024 were up 40% on a year ago and were up 8% on January 2024.

There were 60,383 mortgage approvals in February 2024, compared with 43,207 in February 2023.

UK mortgage approvals

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

There were 19,080 house building starts (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q4 2023, a 10% decrease compared with the previous quarter, and 51% lower than in Q4 2022. 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 39,650 house building completions (seasonally adjusted) in England in Q4 2023, largely unchanged from the previous quarter, but a 15% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2022.

House starts and completions


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