Is the market rising or falling? Who knows!

House prices ticked up last month by just 0.3%, according to Nationwide, but slid 1.4% according to Halifax.

According to Nationwide, the average UK house price is now £196,930, up from £196,829 in January.

Halifax puts the average price at £209,495 in February, but says this is down from January.

Nationwide economist Robert Gardner said there were almost 75,000 mortgage approvals in January, up from 71,000 in December.

He said: “Much of the increase is likely to be related to the impending increase in Stamp Duty on second homes, due to take effect in April.

“This is likely to have brought forward a significant number of purchases, which in turn will probably result in a fall back in approvals during the spring/summer.”

Martin Ellis, the Halifax economist, said there remains a “significant imbalance between supply and demand” but felt there were tentative signs that the supply situation may be beginning to improve.


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  1. Frown Please

    All depends on what data you are looking at. The article doesn’t mention ONS or LR.

    1. stevedp316

      It doesn’t ons or lr because they are quoting their own data.

      1. Frown Please

        Aha it didn’t state that.


        Guess we have to wait for MR Robert May / MR? PeeBee to explain about his rummage4 system all over again then.

        1. Robert May

          It is Mr Robert May and Mx Peebee (think Dave Money supermarket advert, me in micro denim shirt and big heels)

    2. Mark Connelly

      He said: “Much of the increase is likely to be related to the impending increase in Stamp Duty on second homes, due to take effect in April

      If you work for Nationwide it should be pretty easy to check the validity of this statement. How many mortgages were Nationwide ( Residential) and how many were TMW (BTL) mortgages. If the majority were Nationwide then the comment is probably incorrect.

  2. Flatnose1927

    What’s the old saying? “There are lies, damn lies and statistics”… In truth, it’s early March, no one can really tell yet!

  3. Robert May

    The price of property that hasn’t sold or will not sell has to be ignored,  only property that has transacted can give an indication of transaction price. The average transaction price is currently £271,000.

    Land registry property price index is based on about 36% of transactions; new build sales and properties that have transacted once only are ignored, this skews data in favour of properties that tend to be bought and sold more often.

    ONS data is more accurate but still high because it is based on the full set land registry data which currently contains the remainder of >140,000  identified and now acknowledged data anomalies (duplications and recording errors)

    Some  outcode areas have risen, some have fallen but even within outcode areas type determines rise and fall trends.

    Our CNC (chief number cruncher) reckons; England and Wales  rolling 12 month averages;  detached  £368,500 up 7.65%,  semi-detached £231,000 up 8.13%, terraced  £226,000 up 6.4%, flats and maisonettes £270,000 down 2.03%

    1. Lettingstats

      ONS House Price Index is based on the regulated mortgage survey:

      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.

      1. Robert May

        Thank you. That’s interesting, it is different to a reply  given to a question asked about the discrepancy between ONS and LR figures.

        1. Lettingstats

          Pleasure.  ONS excludes cash sales (normally cheaper) which means averages are higher than other indices


          Though ONS Index all about to change – see extract from new ONS site


          Development of a single, official house price index – progress update

          This is an update to the progress report published in December 2015, which reported that there had been delays in getting access to Scottish property attribute data (via the Scottish Energy Performance Certificates) due to the legislative process involved. This data has now been received.
          Following the receipt of this data, the methodology for the new house price index (HPI) has now been finalised and is presented in the article “Development of a single Official House Price Index”, published in February 2016. Details on the transition plan to move to the next phase of development can also be found in the February 2016 article.

  4. Lettingstats

    Nationwide say there were almost 75,000 mortgage approvals in January. Yes but this figure is the Bank of England’s seasonally adjusted figure (74,581) which at this time of year is very different from the actual mortgage approvals in January (49,015) 

    Chart showing the huge discrepancy can be seen here:

    Short article also expresses doubts that we are seeing a rush of second home / B2L buyers boosting mortgage approvals.  It is hard to know definitively.

  5. Eric Walker

    Averages are never indicative of the extremes they represent. Halifax have a strong presence in the North, Nationwide have a more southern focus.

  6. smile please

    I tend to take all these valuations with a pinch.

    All i know is in my area prices are still rising. Lack of stock, lots of agents fighting for stock, plentiful buyers = increased prices.

    1. Gump

      Amen to that! Agents in my town are picking val figures out of the air at the moment and they are shifting them

      1. smile please

        We have topped one or two vals recently whilst managing the clients expectations saying “Lets give it a go” – And they have been agreed within a week!

        We are not talking 5/10k we are talking 40 – 50k

        Its almost panic buying out there at the moment.


  7. Property Paddy

    In the 80’s (days of “loads of money”!) we used to say “swings and roundabouts”

    Naff all has changed.

  8. Frown Please

    Can’t help but think of wizard of oz. Scarecrow gets asked which direction to head in so not knowing the true answer just points in both directions.


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