UK House Prices Still Rising - October 2020

House prices are still booming, with a 2.5% rise over the year to the end of August, according to official data. 

The Office for National Statistics House Price Index puts the average price of a home at £239,000 across the country, with property values shooting up in England and Wales but lagging in Scotland. 

Other research backs the ONS data, with housing portal Zoopla reporting a 3% year-on-year growth in house prices to the end of September and estate agents LSL – with brands including Your Move and Reed Rains – posting a 4% gain over the same period.

ONS house price data

  • Average house price for August 2020 - £239,000, up from £237,963 in July
  • Monthly house price change: 0.4%
  • Yearly house price change: 2.5%

Average house prices across the UK were up 2.5% in the year to August 2020, rising from 2.1% in July 2020. The most significant annual house price growth was in England, increasing by 2.8% over the year to August 2020. Wales was just behind with a 2.7% jump, and Scotland saw house prices rise by 0.6%.

UK house prices by region – August 2020

RegionPriceMonthly changeAnnual change
East Midlands£202,3450.6%3.6%
East of England£296,4110.8%2.0%
North East£131,7010.0%0.2%
North West£173,6171.4%3.5%
South East£332,1471.6%2.9%
South West£264,8860.0%2.5%
West Midlands£204,8860.1%2.5%
Yorkshire and the Humber£170,0250.1%2.7%

Source: ONS

UK house prices by property type

Property typeAug-20Aug-19Difference %

Source: ONS Read the full ONS report

Halifax house price data – October 2020

  • Average house price: £250,457, up from £249,870 in September
  • Monthly house price change: 0.3%
  • Yearly house price change: 7.5%

Russell Galley, the bank’s managing director, said: ““The average UK house price now tops a quarter of a million pounds (£250,457) for the first time in history, as annual house price inflation rose to 7.5% in October, its highest rate since mid-2016. Underlying the pace of recent price growth in the market is the 5.3% gain over the past four months, the strongest since 2006. However, month-on-month price growth slowed considerably, down to just 0.3% compared to 1.5% in September. 

“Overall, we saw a broad continuation of recent trends with the market still predominantly being driven by home-mover demand for larger houses. Since March flat prices are up by 2.0% compared to a 6.0% increase for a typical detached property. In cash terms that equates to a £2,883 increase for flats compared to a £27,371 rise for detached houses. 

“This level of price inflation is underpinned by unusually high levels of demand, with latest industry figures showing home-buyer mortgage approvals at their highest level since 2007, as transaction levels continue to be supercharged by pent-up demand as a result of the spring/summer lockdown, as well as the Chancellor’s waiver on stamp duty for properties up to £500,000.

Read the full Halifax report

Nationwide house price data – October 2020

  • Average house price: £227,826 from £224,337 in September
  • Monthly house price change: 0.8%
  • Yearly house price change: 5.8%

“Annual house price growth rose to 5.8% in October – its highest level since January 2015. UK house prices rose 0.8% month-on-month in October after taking account of seasonal effects, following a 0.9% rise in September,” said Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner. 

“Data suggests that the economic recovery has lost momentum in recent months with economic growth slowing sharply to 2.1% in August, down from 6.4% in July, despite a strong boost to the hospitality sector from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which has since expired. “Labour market conditions also weakened with the unemployment rate rising to 4.5% in the three months to August – still low by historic standards, but up from an average of 3.8% in 2019. 

“Nevertheless, housing market activity has remained robust. Mortgage approvals for house purchase climbed to 91,500 in September – the highest level since 2007.”

Read the full Nationwide report

Acadata house price data – October 2020

  • Average house price: £314,643 from £304,521 in September
  • Monthly house price change: 0.9%
  • Yearly house price change: 4.4%
  • The highest annual regional price rise was Greater London, rising from 2.9% in September to 7.3% in October
  • Bristol was the city with the highest annual house price growth – 8.3%, while Rutland was the area with the highest price growth outside London – 9.1%

Read the full Acadata report

House Price Digest FAQ

The figures for average house prices and movements in property values can be confusing if you don’t know how to read the data. 

Here are some of the most asked questions about house price indices.

Why are the average property prices different in each report?

The reports use different data to draw conclusions and take the data from different periods. The Nationwide and Halifax indices are based on their customer data, which are much smaller samples than the national data analysed by the ONS. Acadata’s methodology includes analysis that no other index uses. Each organisation collects data over different periods – Nationwide and Halifax are for the year to September, while the ONS is to the end of July.

What is the average house price?

There’s no such thing as an average home; the figure is simply math calculated from the total value of all transactions in the sample divided by the number of homes changing hands.

Which house price index is the best?

They are all flawed because of the restricted data they are based on, but the one with the broadest sample comes from the ONS. However, the ONS data is usually the last to market and out of date by three months on publication.

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