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Release: House Price Index, August 2013

Released: 15 October 2013 Next edition: 12 November 2013


Christopher Jenkins

Prices Division

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455474

Categories: House Price Indices, Economy, Prices, Output and Productivity, Price Indices and Inflation, Housing and Households, Housing Market

Frequency of release: Monthly

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: Region

  • In the 12 months to August 2013 UK house prices increased by 3.8%, up from a 3.3% increase in the 12 months to July 2013.
  • House price growth remains stable across most of the UK, although prices in London are increasing faster than the UK average.
  • The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 4.1% in England, 1.1% in Northern Ireland and 1.0% in Wales, offset by a fall of 0.7% in Scotland.
  • In August 2013, the UK HPI surpassed its previous peak in January 2008 (185.5) by 0.3%.
  • Annual house price increases in England were driven by London (8.7%), the East Midlands (3.8%) and the West Midlands (3.5%).
  • Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 2.1% in the 12 months to August 2013.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, UK house prices increased by 0.5% between July and August 2013.
  • In August 2013, prices paid by first-time buyers were 4.9% higher on average than in August 2012. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 3.3% for the same period.

In this release

The 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 and 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 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 are also available in the data section of this release.

ONS has published Official House Price Statistics Explained, a guidance document that details the ONS HPI methodology and explains the differences between the different sources of official house price statistics.

New this month

New house price data for August 2013 are published this month. The monthly and quarterly reference table (3.32 Mb Excel sheet) has been updated to include data for August 2013.

Revisions this month

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

Small revisions are expected for the July 2013 and August 2013 HPI figures. These reflect quarterly submissions delivered by a small proportion of mortgage lenders.

Taking forward the recommendations from the National Statistician’s review of UK house price statistics

Following the publication of the National Statistician's review of house price statistics in 2010, the current producers of official house price statistics have been in consultation regarding how best to take forward the review recommendations.

Following initial discussions, it was agreed that the current ONS HPI would be developed to become the measure that best meets the user requirements laid out in the 2010 review, mainly by expanding the coverage of the index to include cash sales data. The inclusion of cash sales would be carried out by using Land Registry data to supplement the current ONS dataset.

Analysis has shown that this proposed development would not meet the recommendations laid out in the review, namely the development of a joint, single definitive UK house price index as, under this approach, each of the current departments would continue to produce their own indices in their current format potentially leading to confusion for users.

Therefore, following agreement across the four producers of official house price statistics, a joint project will be initiated to consider the development of a single definitive UK House Price Index from which official providers can report on their own areas of responsibility in a way that can be directly compared. This collaborative approach would allow the publishing of consistent HPI data at a national, regional and sub-regional level across the UK.

The first stage of this development is to consider how the current data sources and methodologies can be used to produce a single, definitive HPI that meets user requirements. It is expected that this initial analysis will be completed by the end of 2013 at which time a more substantial note on the plans, methods and timetable for the implementation of the index will be published. This note was first published in the May 2013 HPI.

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices

On 26 June 2013 ONS published the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). IPHRP is an experimental series that measures the changes in price charged for renting private housing in Great Britain. The index is calculated from rental prices collected by Valuation Office Agency, Scottish Government and Welsh Government, and includes price indices at country level and English region level. The latest publication of the IPHRP was published on the 25 September 2013 and covers June to August 2013 data.

Data tables

ONS HPI monthly and quarterly reference tables (3.32 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 data for August 2013. The seasonally adjusted figures for the last 12 months in Table 7 have also been revised this month as scheduled. This reference table also contains all the quarterly live tables transferred to ONS from DCLG. Please note that during the transfer ONS renumbered the live tables. Full details of the new table numbers and their corresponding DCLG table numbers can be found in the 'contents' page of the reference table.

ONS HPI annual tables (1.16 Mb Excel sheet) (number 20 to 39). This reference table contains all the annual live tables transferred to ONS from DCLG. No annual tables have been updated this month. The next scheduled update of this table is March 2014.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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