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Statistical bulletin: House Price Index, February 2012

Released: 17 April 2012 Download PDF

Headlines February 2012

  • In the 12 months to February 2012, UK house prices increased by 0.3 per cent. The average UK mix-adjusted house price was £224,473 (not seasonally adjusted).
  • Seasonally adjusted UK house prices increased by 0.2 per cent over the month.
  • In the 12 months to February 2012, average house prices increased in both England and Scotland by 0.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. These increases were offset by decreases in Wales, where average prices decreased by 0.5 per cent, and Northern Ireland, where average prices fell by 9.7 per cent.
  • The annual increase in average house prices in England was driven by increases in both London and the South East, where prices increased over the year by 1.7 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
  • In February 2012, prices paid by first time buyers were 1.3 per cent higher on average than in February 2011. For owner occupiers (existing owners) the prices remained unchanged.
  • Prices of new dwellings rose by 7.7 per cent during the 12 months to February 2012, while the price of pre-owned dwellings decreased by 0.2 per cent in the same period.

About this Statistical Bulletin

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, 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 the ONS such as the Consumer Price Indices, the Retail Prices Index, 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.

Revisions to all 2011 data are being published in this release. Full details of the revisions can be found in background note 1.

House Price Index UK summary

UK average house prices increased by 0.3 per cent over the year to February 2012, up from no change in the year to the revised January 2012 index. The average UK mix-adjusted house price in February 2012 was £224,473. 

Figure 1 - UK all dwellings annual house price rates of change

12 month percentage change

Chart detailing the annual rate of change for UK all dwelling house prices
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 0.2 per cent over the month to February 2012 compared with a decrease in average prices of 0.2 per cent in February 2011.

House Price Index - February 2012 - Summary of UK all dwellings

Index - February 2002=100
Index % 12 month change Index % monthly change £
  Not seasonally adjusted Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted Not seasonally adjusted
2011 Jan R 174.5 0.1 173.3 -1.1        216,109
Feb R 171.1 -0.2 173.0 -0.2 211,960
Mar R 173.2 0.3 175.1 1.2 214,566
Apr R 172.6 -0.7 173.5 -0.9 213,832
May R 171.1 -2.5 171.9 -0.9 211,975
Jun R 173.1 -2.3 173.1 0.7 214,426
Jul R 175.6 -1.6 173.4 0.2 217,473
Aug R 176.0 -1.5 174.2 0.5 218,022
Sep R 175.2 -1.6 173.1 -0.6 217,044
Oct R 174.2 -0.5 174.3 0.7 215,772
Nov R 173.8 -0.5 174.2 -0.1 215,333
Dec R 173.0 -0.4 174.5 0.2 214,342
2012 Jan R 174.4 0.0 173.6 -0.5 228,064
  Feb   171.7 0.3 173.9 0.2 224,473

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Data collected via the Regulated Mortgage Survey

Download table

House Price Index by Country

During the year to February 2012, average house prices increased in England by 0.4 per cent and in Scotland by 1.1 per cent. However, there were decreases over the 12 months in both Wales and Northern Ireland where average house prices fell by 0.5 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively.

Figure 2 - Country all dwellings annual house price rates of change

12 month percentage change

Chart showing the annual rates of change for the average all dwelling house price by country
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 in four of the nine English regions over the year to February 2012. The largest annual increase was in London at 1.7 per cent. Over the same period, average house prices decreased in four of the regions, with the largest decrease observed in the North East, at 5.0 per cent. The average house price remained unchanged in the East Midlands during the year to February 2012.

Figure 3 - Regional all dwellings annual house price rates of change

12 month percentage change for the latest month

This chart shows the annual rates of change for the current month by each region of the UK
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 February 2012 stood at £232,485 in England, £151,839 in Wales, £177,354 in Scotland and £136,263 in Northern Ireland.

London continues to be the English region with the highest average house price, at £366,435 in February 2012. The North East has the lowest average house price, at £138,157. Regions in the south of England including London and the South East has prices higher than the UK average.  The East of England also have an average house price higher than the UK average of £224,473.

Excluding London and the South East, the average UK mix-adjusted house price was £182,742.

Figure 4 - Mix-adjusted average house price by UK, Country and Region

Current month compared with the same month last year

This chart shows the average mix-adjusted house price by UK, Country and Region for both the latest month and the same month last year
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

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

Download chart

House Price Index by Type of Buyer

The average price for properties bought by first time buyers in the UK increased by 1.3 per cent over the year to February 2012, compared with an annual increase of 0.9 per cent in January 2012. During February 2012 the average price paid for a house by a first time buyer was £166,916, down from the revised January 2012 average price of £169,785.

There was no change in the average prices paid by former owner occupiers (existing owners) in the 12 months to February 2012 compared with a decrease of 0.4 per cent in January 2012.  During February 2012, the average price paid for a house by a former owner occupier was £258,236, down from the revised January 2012 average price of £262,252.

Figure 5 - UK annual house price rates of change by type of buyer

12 month percentage change

This chart shows the annual rates of change for UK average house prices by type of buyer (first time buyer or existing owner)
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 February 2012 prices paid for pre-owned dwellings decreased by 0.2 per cent on average, compared with a decrease of 1.0 per cent during the same month of last year.

The average UK house price for pre-owned dwellings in February 2012 was £224,688. This is a decrease from the revised January 2012 average house price of £228,367.

During the year to February 2012 prices paid for new dwellings increased by 7.7 per cent on average, compared with an increase of 11.3 per cent during the same month of last year.

The average UK house price for new dwellings in February 2012 was £221,247. This is a decrease from the revised January 2012 average house price of £223,528.

Figure 6 - UK annual house price rates of change by type of dwelling

12 month percentage change

This chart shows the annual rates of change for the UK average house price by type of dwelling (whether the dwelling was new or pre-owned)
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 tables (numbers 1 to 19). (3.04 Mb Excel sheet) This reference table provides full historical series for the monthly tables accompanying the House Price Index Statistical Bulletin.  This reference table also contains all the quarterly live tables transferred to ONS from DCLG.  Please note that during the transfer, ONS has renumbered the live tables - full details of the new numbers and their corresponding DCLG numbers can be found in the 'contents' page of the reference table.

ONS HPI annual tables (numbers 20 to 39). (1.05 Mb Excel sheet) This reference table contains all the annual live tables transferred to ONS from DCLG. Please note that during the transfer, ONS has renumbered the live tables - full details of the new numbers and their corresponding DCLG numbers can be found in the 'contents' page of the reference table.

ONS HPI February 2012, Revisions table. (289.5 Kb Excel sheet) This reference table shows the revisions which have been made to all 2011 data (for tables 1 to 7 only).

Background notes

  1. New this month

    Transfer of HPI from DCLG to ONS

    Following the announcement by the National Statistician on the 9 December 2011, the House Price Index (HPI) has now been transferred from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). From this publication onwards, ONS takes responsibility for the publication of the HPI Statistical Bulletin and a number of supporting tables.

    The tables transferred are A1-A7, 502-508, 511-517, 521, 523, 534-540, 557, 571, 572, 590-594. DCLG will continue to produce and publish the remaining housing market live tables (tables 580-588) including those on housing affordability based on Land Registry data.

    Note that during the transfer of HPI from DCLG to ONS, the tables that ONS has taken responsibility for have been renumbered. The content of these tables remains the same.  All of these tables can be accessed via the two reference tables in the data section of this release.  There is one reference table for the monthly and quarterly tables (3.04 Mb Excel sheet) and another reference table for the annual tables (1.05 Mb Excel sheet) . These tables also include a look up table so users can cross reference the old DCLG table numbers with the new ONS numbering scheme.

    Scheduled revisions in this release - Annual Re-weighting

    As scheduled, index weights in this release have been updated for 2012 to reflect the pattern of property transactions of the previous 3 years. The updated weights have resulted in an upward revision to the average mix-adjusted UK house price for January 2012 (previously published on 2011 weights). Please note that average house prices within the year are comparable as they are based on the same weights, however house prices across years cannot be compared because the weights are different. The index numbers published in this release are fully comparable over time.

    Unscheduled revisions in this release

    As announced last month, an error was identified with the 2011 HPI weights used by DCLG at this stage last year. This error has been corrected and has led to revisions to both mix-adjusted house prices and index values for the whole of 2011. These revisions impact on the following tables in this release:

    • Tables 1 to 7 (previously DCLG tables A1 to A7)

    • Tables 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 22, 25, 32 and 33 (previously DCLG live tables 590, 592, 594, 508, 591, 521, 523, 557, 502, 507, 572 and 593 respectively)

    The revisions to 2011 data for tables 1 to 7 can be accessed via the ONS HPI February 2012 revisions table. (289.5 Kb Excel sheet)

    Note that during the transfer of the HPI from DCLG to ONS, the live tables that ONS has taken responsibility for have been renumbered. The content of the tables remains unchanged.

    In the June 2011 DCLG HPI release, revisions were published due to additional sample records being received for the period October 2010 to May 2011 (see http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/pdf/1966772.pdf). However, some of these revised estimates for 2010 were not initially updated in a number of the annual 'live tables'. These revised data have now been taken-on and that has led to revisions to 2010 data in the following tables in this release:

    • Tables 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31 and 34 (previously DCLG live tables 503, 505, 511, 512, 513, 571 and 532 respectively)

    All the above tables can be accessed via the data section of this release.

    Next Month

    Estimates for the previous two months (January and February 2012) will be revised as scheduled to include data provided by mortgage lenders on a quarterly basis.

  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 the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Each month a customised HPI delivery is produced using a sub-sample of the full data set for use in the 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 per cent 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.

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

    In all cases, the revised figures are labeled with an "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 per cent of all UK mortgage completions.

    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.

    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.

    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. However, by annually chain linking the indices, the HPI index, and year-on-year comparisons based on the index can be made. This is similar to the chaining done in the Consumer Price Indices (CPI) and Retail Prices Index.

    Seasonal Adjustment

    Seasonally adjusted estimates are provided at a national level alongside the non-seasonally adjusted figures. Seasonal adjustment is performed each month and reviewed each year, using the standard and widely used software X-12-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.

    Land Registry House Price Index

    All residential property transactions in England and Wales are recorded by the Land Registry and published on their website. 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. The 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.

    Registers of Scotland House Price Index

    Registers of Scotland records all the property transactions in Scotland. It produces a housing price index based on arithmetic means of these transactions, which is published in the second month after the month to which the figures refer to.

    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.

    In addition, other indices are also produced. Rightmove tracks the asking prices of properties in its website, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) produces an opinion survey of its surveyors regarding the direction that prices are moving in, and LSL/Acadametrics estimates an average weighted house price based on completions for all counties.

    Full details on the alternative house price statistics can be accessed via the National Statistician's Review of House Price Statistics.

  6. Accessibility

    This bulletin includes the February 2012 data. Future publication dates for this Statistical Bulletin are available via the Publication Hub.

  7. General

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.

    The production of the HPI has been transferred from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to the Office for National Statistics. The historical releases of the DCLG HPI and their corresponding tables can be found on the Communities website.

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Statistical contacts

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