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Statistical bulletin: House Price Index, December 2014

Released: 17 February 2015 Download PDF

Key Findings

  • UK house prices increased by 9.8% in the year to December 2014, down from 9.9% in the year to November 2014.
  • House price annual inflation was 10.2% in England, 4.0% in Wales, 5.5% in Scotland and 4.9% in Northern Ireland.
  • House prices continue to increase strongly across the majority of the UK, with prices in London again showing the highest growth.
  • Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in London of 13.3% and to a lesser extent increases in the South East (11.5%) and the East (11.4%).
  • Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 7.4% in the 12 months to December 2014.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.7% between November and December 2014.
  • In December 2014, prices paid by first-time buyers were 9.5% higher on average than in December 2013. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 9.8% for the same period.

About This Statistical Bulletin

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) House Price Index (HPI), previously published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), is a monthly release that publishes figures for mix-adjusted average house prices and house price indices for the UK, its component countries and regions.

The index is calculated using mortgage financed transactions that are collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. These cover the majority of mortgage lenders in the UK. The HPI complements other measures of inflation published by ONS such as the Consumer Price Indices, the Producer Price Indices and the Services Producer Price Indices.

This statistical bulletin provides comprehensive information on the change in house prices on a monthly and annual basis. It also includes analysis by country, region, type of buyer (first-time buyers and former owner-occupiers) and type of dwelling (new dwelling or pre-owned dwelling). Historical series for all accompanying tables that transferred from DCLG are also available in the data section of this release.

The figures published in this release are not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise stated.

House Price Index UK Summary

UK average house prices increased by 9.8% over the year to December 2014, down from an increase of 9.9% in the year to November 2014. This follows the house price increases the UK has experienced since April 2012 (Figure 1) and is driven in large part by increases in London. The average UK mix-adjusted house price in December 2014 was £272,000.

Figure 1: Annual house price rates of change, UK all dwellings from January 2004 to December 2014

12 month percentage change

Figure 1: Annual house price rates of change, UK all dwellings from January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

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In December 2014, the UK mix-adjusted House Price Index reached 206.9 (Figure 2). This is 0.4% lower than the record level witnessed in August 2014, when the index reached 207.7 but 11.5% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of 185.5 in January 2008.

Figure 2: Index values, UK all dwellings from January 2004 to December 2014

Index values February 2002=100

Figure 2: Index values, UK all dwellings from January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

Download chart

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.7% between November and December 2014, compared to an increase of 0.9% in average prices during the same period a year earlier.

Table A: House Price Index - Summary of UK all dwellings, December 2014

Index - February 2002=100

House Price Index: UK All Dwellings
Index % 12 month change Index   % monthly change   £
      NSA NSA SA   SA   NSA
2013 Jan 179.2 2.1 178.8 -0.6 237,000
Feb 176.1 1.9 178.6 -0.1 233,000
Mar 177.3 2.7 179.8 0.6 235,000
Apr 179.7 2.6 180.2 0.2 238,000
May 180.2 2.9 180.9 0.4 239,000
Jun 182.5 3.1 181.8 0.5 242,000
Jul 185.0 3.3 182.1 0.2 245,000
Aug 185.9 3.7 183.1 0.5 246,000
Sep 185.0 3.8 183.7 0.3 245,000
Oct 186.4 5.5 186.6 1.7 247,000
Nov 187.2 5.4 187.7 0.6 248,000
Dec 188.5 5.5 189.6 R 0.9 R 250,000
2014 Jan 191.3 6.8 191.0 R 0.7 252,000
Feb 192.2 9.2 194.7 2.0 253,000
Mar 191.4 8.0 193.9 -0.4 252,000
Apr 197.5 9.9 197.9 2.0 260,000
May 198.9 10.4 199.6 0.9 262,000
Jun 201.2 10.2 200.5 0.5 265,000
Jul 206.2 11.5 203.3 1.4 272,000
Aug 207.7 11.7 204.9 0.8 274,000
Sep 207.3 12.1 205.9 0.5 273,000
Oct R 205.8 10.4 206.1 R 0.1 271,000
Nov R 205.7 9.9 206.5 R 0.2 271,000
  Dec   206.9 9.8 208.0   0.7   272,000

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Average house prices are not comparable between years as they reflect a different mix of houses being transacted. Indices have been chain linked so they are comparable year-on-year. For more information please see the re-weighting section in the background notes.

  2. SA = Seasonally adjusted.

  3. NSA = Not seasonally adjusted.

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House Price Index by Country

During the year to December 2014, average house prices increased 10.2% in England, 4.0% in Wales, 5.5% in Scotland and 4.9% in Northern Ireland (Figure 3).

Figure 3: All dwellings annual house price rates of change by country, January 2004 to December 2014

12 month percentage change

Figure 3: All dwellings annual house price rates of change by country, January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

Download chart

In December 2014, Wales house prices surpassed their previous peak of January 2008 and are now at record levels (Figure 4).

The index for Wales reached a record level of 222.7. This is up 1.3% from last month (219.9) and 0.3% higher than the previous record in January 2008 (222.1). The England index reached 204.7 in December 2014. This is up slightly from November 2014 but 0.3% below the record level of 205.3 in August 2014. However, house prices in England are 13.2% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak in January 2008 of 180.8. The index for Northern Ireland (153.5) in December 2014 is 45.5% below the peak of August 2007 (281.5). The index for Scotland (227.3) in December 2014 is 3.2% below the record level witnessed in August 2014 (234.9). Scotland prices are now 1.4% lower than the pre-economic downturn peak of June 2008 (230.6).

Figure 4: Mix-adjusted House Price Index by UK countries from January 2004 to December 2014

Index level (Feb 2002=100)

Figure 4: Mix-adjusted House Price Index by UK countries from January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

Download chart

House Price Index by Region

Average house prices increased strongly in the majority of the nine English regions over the year to December 2014 (Figure 5). The largest increase was again in London at 13.3% followed by the South East (11.5%) and the East (11.4%). The lowest growth in December 2014 was in the North West, where prices increased by 4.0% over the year. Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 7.4% over the year to December 2014.

Figure 5: All dwellings annual house price rates of change: UK, country and regions

12 month percentage change for December 2014

Figure 5: All dwellings annual house price rates of change: UK, country and regions
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

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A number of regions have seen average house prices surpass the previous record levels from earlier in 2014. House prices in the West Midlands, the East, the South East and the South West have increased to record levels in December 2014.

The price index for the West Midlands increased 1.3% from the level of 187.3 in November to reach a record of 189.7 in December 2014 (Figure 6). The West Midlands index is now 0.9% higher than the previous record level of August 2014 (188.1). The East of England index increased by 0.9% from the level of 188.6 in November 2014 to reach a record level of 190.3 in December 2014. The East index is now 0.6% higher than the previous record level of September 2014 (189.1). The South East index increased by 0.8% from the level of 187.7 in November 2014 to reach a record level of 189.2 in December 2014. The South East index is now 0.4% higher than the previous record of August 2014 (188.5). Finally the South West index increased by 1.2% from the level of 185.8 in November 2014 to reach a record level of 188.1 in December 2014. The South West index is now 0.5% higher than the previous record of 187.2 in August 2014.

The price index for London is now 2.3% below the record level of 243.5 in August 2014 with an index of 238.0 in December 2014. However, the London index is 36.4% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak in January 2008 (174.5).

Figure 6: Mix-adjusted House Price Index by selected regions from January 2004 to December 2014

Index level (Feb 2002=100)

Figure 6: Mix-adjusted House Price Index by selected regions from January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

Download chart

Average House Prices in Countries and Regions

Average mix-adjusted house prices in December 2014 stood at £285,000 in England, £173,000 in Wales, £142,000 in Northern Ireland and £193,000 in Scotland (Figure 7).

In December 2014, London continued to be the English region with the highest average house price at £502,000 and the North East had the lowest average house price at £153,000. London, the South East and the East all had prices higher than the UK average price of £272,000.

Excluding London and the South East, the average UK mix-adjusted house price was £208,000.

Figure 7: Mix-adjusted average house price: UK, country and region

House Prices for December 2014

Figure 7: Mix-adjusted average house price: UK, country and region
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

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House Price Index by Type of Buyer

The average price for properties bought by first-time buyers increased by 9.5% over the year to December 2014, down from an increase of 11.0% in November 2014 (Figure 8). In December 2014 the average price paid for a house by a first-time buyer was £208,000.

The average price for properties bought by former owner-occupiers (existing owners) increased by 9.8% in the year to December 2014, up from an increase of 9.4% in November 2014. In December 2014, the average price paid for a house by a former owner-occupier was £314,000.

Figure 8: UK annual house price rates of change by type of buyer, January 2004 to December 2014

12 month percentage change

Figure 8: UK annual house price rates of change by type of buyer, January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

Download chart

House Price Index by New and Pre-owned Dwellings

During the year to December 2014 prices paid for new dwellings increased by 9.4% on average, compared with an increase of 10.2% in the year to November 2014 (Figure 9). The average UK house price for new dwellings in December 2014 was £260,000.

During the year to December 2014 prices paid for pre-owned dwellings increased by 9.8% on average, compared with an increase of 9.9% in the year to November 2014. The average UK house price for pre-owned dwellings in December 2014 was £273,000.

Figure 9 : UK annual house price rates of change by type of dwelling, January 2004 to December 2014

12 month percentage change

Figure 9 : UK annual house price rates of change by type of dwelling, January 2004 to December 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Not seasonally adjusted.
  2. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey.

Download chart

Data Tables

ONS HPI monthly and quarterly reference tables (3.55 Mb Excel sheet) (number 1 to 19). This reference table provides full historical series for the monthly tables accompanying the House Price Index statistical bulletin. This month, tables 1 to 9 have been updated with the latest monthly estimates for December 2014. The seasonally adjusted figures in Table 7 have been revised this month as scheduled.  This month, tables 10 to 19 have been updated with the latest data for the fourth quarter of 2014.

ONS HPI annual tables (1.15 Mb Excel sheet) (number 20 to 39). This reference table contains all the annual live tables. No annual tables have been updated this month. The next set of updates to annual tables will be in March 2015.

ONS weights summary (74 Kb Excel sheet) . This reference table provides a summary of the aggregated mix-adjustment weights used in the production of the HPI for the period 2011 to 2014. The mix-adjustment weights are updated in the February HPI each year.

Annual House Price Statistics for Small Areas

Alongside this release, ONS have published annual house price statistics for small areas. Elements of these statistics were previously produced and published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. These statistics report the count and median price (not mix-adjusted) of all dwellings sold and registered in a given year. The statistics are calculated using open data from the Land Registry and are reported for a range of sub national geographies including middle layer super output areas, local authorities and parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales. Full details regarding the methodology used to produce the price statistics is published alongside the release.

For further information, please contact hpi@ons.gsi.gov.uk

How are we doing?

The Office for National Statistics would welcome your views on the data presented in this statistical bulletin. Please contact the House Price Index team using the email address below to discuss any aspect of the data, including your views on how ONS can improve the data.

hpi@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Background notes

  1. New this month

    New house price data for December 2014 are published this month. The monthly and quarterly reference table (3.55 Mb Excel sheet) has been updated to include data for December 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2014.

    Alongside this release, ONS have published annual house price statistics for small areas.

    Revisions this month

    October and November 2014 data have been revised this month to incorporate transactions from those lenders that provide data on a quarterly basis. There are small revisions to the seasonally adjusted series for the last 12 months, which are expected from the monthly seasonal adjustment process.

    Revisions next month

    No revisions are expected for the January 2015 HPI, apart from the normal revisions to the latest 12 months that follow the monthly seasonal adjustment process.

  2. Relevance of the ONS House Price Index

    The ONS HPI is an important measure of house price inflation for the UK and together with the Land Registry HPI, it is one of the main house price indices used by central and local government to support decision making in the UK. Other users include private individuals, surveyors and analysts in financial institutions.

    The ONS HPI is also an important input into the housing cost component of RPIJ and RPI retail price indices. Each month a customised HPI delivery is produced using a sub-sample of the full data set for use in RPIJ and RPI.

  3. Revisions policy

    At the end of every quarter, as well as releasing final figures for the latest month, ONS revises the figures from the previous two months. This is done because some mortgage lenders, which account for 1 to 2% of all records, provide their data on a quarterly rather than monthly basis. Additionally, data will be revised for the previous month if more than 1,000 additional cases are received in a subsequent month.

    In July 2013 the methodology used to seasonally adjust the HPI was updated following a review and brings the HPI in line with ONS best practice for seasonal adjustment. Seasonal factors are now estimated on a monthly basis and therefore may result in small revisions to the previous 12 months data. This updated process improves the accuracy of the seasonally adjusted figures.

    Other revisions to historical data (other than those currently due for revision) will be made only if the revision is substantial.

    In all cases, the revised figures are labelled with a 'R' and the reason for the revision explained under the 'New this month' section of the background notes.

  4. Methodology

    Data sources

    Since October 2005 the ONS HPI (formerly the DCLG HPI) has been based on a sample of mortgage completions data from the Regulated Mortgage Survey (RMS) as collected by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

    The number of transactions received from the RMS is affected by the total number of mortgages completed for house purchase in any period. During 2011 the sample covered 65-70% of all UK mortgage completions.

    Quality

    A Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) (131.8 Kb Pdf) paper for the HPI describes in detail the intended uses of the statistics presented in this publication, their general quality and the methods used to produce them.

    Price methodology

    The ONS HPI is mix-adjusted to allow for differences between houses sold (for example type, number of rooms, location) in different months within a year. House prices are modelled using a combination of characteristics to produce a model containing around 100,000 cells (one such cell could be first-time buyer, old dwelling, one bedroom flat purchased in London). Each month estimated prices for all cells are produced by the model and then combined with their appropriate weight to produce mix-adjusted average prices. The index values are based on growth rates in the mix-adjusted average house prices and are annually chain linked. More information on the model used is available via the hedonic model methodology paper (246.4 Kb Pdf) published on the HPI User Guidance webpage.

    Re-weighting

    The ONS HPI is a weighted Laspeyres-type index. In January of each year the index weights are updated based on the relative numbers of transactions during the previous three years, which are grossed to total transactions obtained from Land Registry. Applying new weights ensures that the index keeps up to date with changes in the types of properties that are being purchased, and therefore reflects the price of the average property. A high level summary of the weights used in the calculation of the ONS HPI can be found in the HPI weights summary reference table (74 Kb Excel sheet) .

    One consequence of changing the weights every year is that the mix-adjusted house prices cannot be compared between years as the weights are different. The index itself is constructed on a chain-linked basis, which enables year-on-year comparisons to be made. This means that the year-on-year change in the index for June 2011, say, is effectively the change in the average price from June to January 2011 (using the weights for 2010) combined with the change in the average price from January to June 2011 using the weights for 2011. Therefore, the year-on-year change in the index is not the same as the year-on-year change in the mix-adjusted average price. More information on the HPI methodology is available on the GOV.UK website.

    Seasonal adjustment

    The housing market shows seasonal effects that affect house prices. For example, prices have tended to be higher during the summer months than during the winter months. These seasonal effects are estimated and adjusted for in order to calculate month-on-month price changes. Seasonally adjusted figures are provided at a national level in Table 7 alongside the non-seasonally adjusted figures of the other tables. Seasonal adjustment is performed each month and reviewed each year, using the standard and widely used software X-13-ARIMA. Seasonally adjusted house price estimates are used to report monthly percentage changes. All other figures such as annual rates of change and average house prices are based on non-seasonally adjusted estimates, unless otherwise stated.

  5. Other house price statistics

    Currently there are a number of different sources of house price statistics published in addition to the ONS HPI. There will be differences in the data published by each source as there are differences in both the data and methodology used. Therefore the ONS HPI is not directly comparable with these other indicators. Further details on the differences between official house price statistics can be found in the article Official House Price Statistics Explained (974.4 Kb Pdf) .

    Land Registry House Price Index

    All residential property transactions in England and Wales are recorded by Land Registry. These transactions are used for calculating the Land Registry index. This index is based on repeat-sales regression, which calculates the change in price of any property transacted twice since 1995. Therefore new build properties are excluded from the index. Land Registry publishes indices at a sub-regional level. The Land Registry HPI is normally published on the 20th working day of every month, and refers to all transactions of the preceding month.

    The Land Registry HPI can be accessed via the Land Registry's website.

    Registers of Scotland Official Quarterly Housing Market Statistics

    Registers of Scotland records all the property transactions in Scotland. It produces average house prices based on arithmetic means of these transactions, which is published as the Quarterly Housing Market Statistics in the second month after the month to which the figures refer to.

    Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index

    The Land & Property Services assisted by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA) publish a quarterly Residential Property Prices Index (RPPI) for Northern Ireland. The index measures change in the price of residential property sales recorded by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs. This is a new official statistic, first published in quarter 1 of 2012.

    Halifax House Price Index and Nationwide House Price Index

    Both Halifax and Nationwide produce house price indices based on their own mortgage approvals only and therefore, like the ONS HPI, will not include any cash transactions. They both have UK-wide coverage, and since the Halifax and Nationwide use only their own in-house data they can process them immediately and do not have to await the receipt of data from other lenders. This means that they are more timely than the ONS HPI.

    LSL Acadata House Price Index

    The LSL Acadata (previously the LSL Property Services/Acadametrics) HPI is the only house price index to reflect all transactions, as opposed to data samples, and provides mix and seasonally adjusted results at national, regional and county/unitary district/London borough levels.

    The index can be accessed at Acadata.

  6. Accessibility

    This bulletin includes the December 2014 data. Future publication dates for this statistical bulletin are available via the release calendar.

  7. General

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office. Also available is a list of the names of those given pre-release access to the contents of this release.

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  8. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Christopher Jenkins +44 (0)1633 455474 Office for National Statistics christopher.jenkins@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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