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From 24th October, we’re replacing the Hometrack House Price Survey with the new UK House Price City Index, tracking house prices across 20 UK cities, plus regions.
Why the change?
The Monthly National Housing Survey is based on the answers to 11 questions we have been asking agents and surveyors for the last 14 years. When we started in 2000, data on the housing market and the underlying trends was hard to obtain and since then we have collected data from over 3.5m agents.
The changing availability of market data means it is possible to analyse trends based on real data rather than surveys and, perhaps more importantly, drill this data down to a more localised level. This approach of using data and insight to deliver answers to help businesses make better decisions is what Hometrack does day to day in the UK, Australia and Europe.
What is the UK House Price City Index?
Hometrack has been producing localised house price indices for the last 12 years based on recorded sales and mortgage valuations. These localized indices are a key component of our automated valuation model which is used by four of the top 5 lenders in the UK. This series of highly granular indices has remained proprietary to Hometrack and unpublished to date.
We’ve now decided to publish a set of indices using the same underlying data and methodology for 20 UK Cities. Alongside these City series we will be making available monthly house price indices for the UK, English Government Regions, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland via our website.
Hometrack’s Monthly UK House Price City Index will offer a detailed yet digestible analysis on monthly changes in house prices for 20 key cities across the UK enabling a narrative and discussion on the market at a sub-regional level. Cities are the focus of economic and demographic change in the UK and globally. The recent independence debate in Scotland and its impact on Government means greater focus on cities and city regions as a policy base. Cities create platform analysis of other important metrics such as housing affordability, new supply and the rental market.
What makes it unique?
The Hometrack UK City House Price Indices are unique in that:
UK city house price inflation is higher as prices start to firm up in London and Southern England. Large regional cities continue to post above average price growth on the back of rising demand and attractive affordability, supported by low mortgage rates. London is experiencing its highest rate of growth for 2 years and follows a period of modest price falls.
HPI is currently running at +2.4%, half the average growth over the last five years, and below average earnings growth. Time to sell has hit a 3 year high, while discount to asking price has widened across UK cities. Despite this, underlying market conditions still vary widely across large areas of the country.
With HPI moderating at 1.9%, it appears the slowdown in house price growth is an indication of a return to a more sustainable pace of price growth. However, a change in buyer mix from cash buyers to those with mortgages, plus wide variance in the recovery of house prices is sending mixed signals about current housing market activity.
UK City HPI is running at 2.3%, with Liverpool and Edinburgh seeing growth of +6% and Aberdeen -5%. Looking at average house price growth versus growth in average earnings, we can see that affordability levels are starting to improve. Twelve cities are registering price growth that is lower than the growth in average earnings.