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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 This series of highly granular indices has remained proprietary to Hometrack and unpublished to date.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 growth in February 2020 was +1.6%, higher than the +1.2% a year ago. That said, in recent weeks coronavirus has had a rapid impact on housing demand, which is 40% lower in the last week. Transaction volumes are set to decline by an estimated 60% in the next quarter with a further fall in sales volumes over Q3 2020.
This month's Cities Index is the second in a row to record a 3.9% increase year-on-year. This is taking average prices up to a nearly 3-year high. Prices have now also recovered across all English cities to pre-recession 2007 levels. Supply is still flat and outpaced by demand, at 2.6%.
This month’s Cities Index shows a continuation of the strong end to 2019. City house price growth is at a two-year high, at 3.9%. Coupled with a bounce in demand, which at 26% far exceeds the traditional new year boost, we see green shoots of returning market optimism. At a regional level, affordability of local stock is driving growth forecasts for Northern and Midlands cities, while in the South, the picture is more subdued.
Average UK city house prices have increased at an annual average rate of 4.4% per annum. While price falls in the latter part of 2018 suppressed the annual growth rate, these have dropped out of the annual growth calculation and explain the increase in the current annual rate of growth. The outlook for 2020 will be driven by affordability factors. We expect city house prices to increase by +3% over 2020 with above average growth in the most affordable cities and below average growth in cities across London and southern England.