COVID-19 and the publication of House Price Statistics

This note was published on Wednesday 16 September 2020.

The government measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 effectively paused the housing market in Northern Ireland between 23 March 2020 and 15 June 2020. As a result of these measures Land & Property Services (LPS) decided to suspend the publication of the quarterly NI House Price Index for Q2 (Apr – Jun) 2020. LPS have continued to process any transactions received via HMRC and monitored the volume of transactions during the period since 23 March 2020. 

Although the number of transactions received was reduced by approximately two thirds of the usual volume of transactions, the transactions are still representative of the property market as they are not skewed towards one property type, location or socio-demographic characteristic. As a result the model used to predict the average price and index value is robust.

Details of the checks run on the model to determine reliability can be viewed below.

As the NI HPI is published quarterly, LPS have published alongside the UK HPI for June 2020. Northern Ireland data is provided to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) quarterly, and is combined with the Great Britain data to give overall figures for the UK. In line with normal procedures, the overall UK figure for April and May was calculated by keeping the house prices in Northern Ireland constant. They have now been revised based on the Q2 data published with the June report.

Annual Price Statistics at Local Government District and Electoral Ward

Annual descriptive price statistics for calendar year 2019 were due to be published on 19 August 2020, however due to the effect of the government measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, they have been published today (Wednesday 16 September 2020) alongside the NI House Price Index suite of statistics.

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