ONS launches new house prices tool showing property activity in your area

The Office for National Statistics will update its house prices tool each month to reflect changes in its House Price Index and renting data.

House prices: housing appears behind graph lines
House prices can now be tracked in your area with the ONS's new tool (images: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has launched a new online tool that can show you how house prices are changing in your local area.

Using HM Land Registry data, which records house prices at the completion stage, the tool (which can be found on the ONS website) breaks down average prices based on which local authority area you live in.

As well as showing the latest official pricing data, it will display how prices have changed over time, typical house price growth for different types of property and how your area compares to other nations and regions.

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It will also reveal how much private rents typically cost in your council area, and how much they are rising or falling for different accommodation types and sizes.

The UK’s official statistics body said it has launched the tool to “improve accessibility” of local housing market information. Previously, the ONS released the data in the form of a large spreadsheet that was hard to navigate.

It comes after the latest ONS house price index showed average UK prices continued to fall compared to a year previously. As of January 2024, a typical property cost £281,913 - 0.6% (roughly £2,000) lower than 12-months ago. Prices dropped 1.4% over the course of 2023.

The ONS HPI is arguably the most comprehensive measure of the UK housing market given it is based on officially recorded prices at the completion stage. However, it operates on a larger lag than the HPIs run by lenders, like Nationwide, and professional bodies, such as RICS. so it may not give a fully up-to-date picture of what’s happening to property now.

What’s happening to house prices?

According to the latest ONS house price index, which was released on Wednesday (21 March), average property prices remained down against the year in January. However, monthly figures suggest a recovery could be on the way.

The average property price has fallen £2,000 (0.6%) year-on-year to £281,913. At the same time, this figure marked a 0.5% uptick on a monthly basis, with the biggest rebounds being posted in London (+2.5%), the South West (+1.5%) and Scotland (+1.3%).

HPI data from lenders and professional bodies, which cover more recent time periods, have suggested a recovery is taking place in the UK property market. Rightmove, which tracks market sentiment through asking prices, recorded the largest jump in house prices for 10 months in early March.

Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) saw an uptick in the number of new property instructions in February. Major mortgage lender Halifax recorded a 1.7% year-on-year increase in prices in its February dataset - a fifth consecutive month of price growth.

Despite these apparent shoots of recovery, experts still expect 2024 to see an overall decline in the UK housing market. The recent rise in prices has been put down to a shortage of housing stock, while mortgage rates remain much higher than they were before the inflation crisis.

Henry Sandercock

Henry Sandercock has spent more than eight years as a journalist covering a wide variety of beats. Having studied for an MA in journalism at the University of Kent, he started his career in the garden of England as a reporter for local TV channel KMTV. 

Henry then worked at the BBC for three years as a radio producer - mostly on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine, but also on major BBC Radio 4 programmes like The World at One, PM and Broadcasting House. Switching to print media, he covered fresh foods for respected magazine The Grocer for two years. 

After moving to NationalWorld.com - a national news site run by the publisher of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post - Henry began reporting on the cost of living crisis, becoming the title’s money editor in early 2023. He covered everything from the energy crisis to scams, and inflation. You will now find him writing for MoneyWeek. Away from work, Henry lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their whippet Whisper.