While average UK house prices continue to rise, the true measure of the property market is highly dependent on which source you look at, as well as taking into account regional variations, according to the July 2019 Money Statistics, produced by The Money Charity.
Headline figures on UK house price growth vary widely, with Nationwide reporting an annual increase of 0.5% as of June 2019, Halifax announcing an increase of 5.7%, while HM Land Registry states an increase of 1.1% as of May 2019. With such differing figures, which source gives the most accurate indication of the market?
Each source reports on the same market, however the figures vary due to the differing processes used in producing a price index for an ‘average’ UK house. Properties differ greatly by size, amenities, location, geography and relative value. Variances in timing and number of sales reported should also be considered. Nationwide and Halifax report their mortgage portfolios at the time of mortgage approval, whereas UK Land Registry reports data for all house sales, including those by cash. Overall, the data-set from the UK Land Registry totals around 7-8 times larger, and offers conclusive proof of sales, so seems the most reliable source to track.
Even within the total figures, national and regional variations play a central role. While Land Registry records show London house prices having fallen by 4.4% in the year to May 2019 (following a period of rapid price inflation), prices elsewhere (barring the North-East of England) have continued to rise, fuelling reports of people leaving the capital in search of affordability, or improved value, elsewhere.
Although the average London house price is around 3.4 times more than in Northern Ireland, it is there which has seen the greatest annual change in prices of 3.5%, followed by the North-West of England with 3.4% and Wales with 3%. The lowest figures are found in London and the North East of England, with average falls in price, followed by the East Midlands with a 0.4% annual increase.
Erik Porter, Acting Chief Executive of The Money Charity says:
“For most people, buying a house will be the largest financial decision they make in their lives, from choosing and getting a mortgage, investing hard-earned savings, and planning and budgeting for both regular and unanticipated costs, repairs or improvements. It’s a significant commitment with multiple factors and issues to be considered.
“Throughout our work, we want to help people achieve financial wellbeing so they are free to enjoy their life and spend less time worrying about money. That’s why we help people to take in the full picture of any financial decision, by enabling them to develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours needed so they can discern the right financial decisions for themselves and their family.”
Other striking numbers from the July Money Statistics:
- The average interest rate on cash ISA was 0.80% in May 2019. (P12.)
- The average credit card Interest rate was 19.99% in June 2019. (P14.)
- The Consumer Price Index increased by 2% in the year to June 2019. (P15.)
Get the full picture and many more fascinating facts about money in the UK in our monthly Money Statistics.
Notes to Editors
- The Money Charity is the UK’s leading financial capability charity. We believe that being on top of your money means you are more in control of your life, your finances and your debts, reducing stress and hardship, and that being on top of your money increases your wellbeing, helps you achieve your goals and live a happier more positive life as a result. Our vision is for everyone to be on top of their money as a part of everyday life. We empower people across the UK to build the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, to make the most of their money throughout their lives. Find out more at https://themoneycharity.org.uk/
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