Weekly Summary: 26th March 2021

DATA: ONS reported 7.5% annual rise in UK house price in January

The annual growth rate was slightly lower than the 8.0% reported last month but has not fallen significantly, as seen in the indices based on earlier points in the purchase process.

DATA: Zoopla reported 4.1% annual rise in UK house prices in February

The Zoopla index tends to track the ONS index but there has been a divergence in recent months. It will be interesting to see if there are any revisions in coming months.

DATA: HMRC reported 147,000 residential transactions in February

The 23% monthly rise increased transactions to their highest level since March 2016 (when the 3% additional SDLT rate was introduced). This reflects the rush to beat the March SDLT deadline before it was extended. It will be interesting to see what happened in March given the late extension and it’s also important to note that these figures are subject to revision.

DATA: ONS reported labour market statistics

The data showed small increases in payrolled employees in February and small rise in the unemployment rate to 5.0%. The release also included data and analysis of HMRC PAYE data on payrolled employees by nationality.

DATA: ONS released house price statistics for small areas

The release contains a wealth of house price data including prices by property type, median, lower quartile down to lower super output area geographies.

DATA: ONS released housing affordability in England & Wales: 2020

This release contains data on house price to earnings ratios by local authority.

REPORT: DWP released Family Resources Survey 2019-20

The survey provides “information on income and circumstances of UK households” including housing tenure and housing expenditure.

REPORT: House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report on the Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes

The report highlights the need to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and the failure of Government schemes to adequately address this issue.

Chart of the Week

This week has seen a lot of attention on the very high number of transactions in February as reported by HMRC. This is a temporary issue as buyers rushed to beat what they thought was a March SDLT holiday deadline. Instead, the bigger issue in recent years has been very low levels of housing stock turnover. This problem is highlighted by data from the Family Resources Survey which shows that just 4% of owner occupiers have moved home per annum over the last few years while over 60% last moved home more than ten years ago. These rates as much lower than seen in the 1980s and 1990s, and have important consequences for the future of the housing market.