UK House Price Index figures for May 2020

Published: 02 September 2020

Three key figures for May 2020:

  • £154,648
    The average price of a property in Scotland
  • 2.1%
    The annual price change of a property in Scotland
  • 0.5%
    The monthly price change of a property in Scotland

Estimates for the most recent months are provisional and are likely to be updated as more data is included. The house price index for May 2020 reflects transactions that took place up to the end of May.

Reinstating the publication

The UK HPI publication was temporarily suspended in May 2020 because of the size of the reduction in housing transactions due to government measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus. As a result it was not possible to produce a meaningful measure of UK house prices that would be representative of any true transaction activity within the housing market.

Although fewer transactions are available than usual for the May 2020 UK HPI, RoS and our UK HPI partners have agreed that the UK HPI meets the required standards for publishing. See the publication schedule for reinstating the UK HPI.

By the August 2020 UK HPI (to be published on 21 October 2020) the publication schedule will have returned to normal.

Provisional statistics for May

The latest provisional statistics from the UK HPI show that the average price of a property in Scotland in May 2020 was £154,648, an increase of 2.1 per cent on May 2019.

Comparing with the previous month, house prices in Scotland increased by 0.5 per cent between April 2020 and May 2020.

The UK average house price was £235,673 which was an increase of 2.9 per cent on May 2019 and an increase of 0.3 per cent on the previous month.

The volume of residential sales in Scotland in March 2020 was 5,999, a decrease of 27.3 per cent on the original provisional estimate for March 2019. This compares with a decrease of 20.0 per cent in England, 15.0 per cent in Wales, and an increase of 11.1 per cent in Northern Ireland (Quarter 1 – 2020 compared with quarter in previous year).

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on HM Land Registry operations, the number of transactions for March 2020 are not directly comparable to the provisional estimate of the number of transactions for March 2019 in England and Wales due to processing delays.

Using HMRC property transaction statistics, the volume of transactions decreased by 7.5 per cent in England and 7.3 per cent in Wales in the year to March 2020. The HMRC figure for Scotland (a decrease of 25.8 per cent) was more comparable to the UK HPI figures.

Commenting on the volume figures in Scotland, Accountable Officer Janet Egdell said:

“The volume of residential sales in Scotland in March 2020 was down 27.3 per cent on the original provisional estimate for March 2019. While the introduction of lockdown measures has had an impact on March sales figures, it is worth noting, for context, that the cumulative sales volume in Scotland for the financial year 2019-20 was only 0.7 per cent down on the previous year (2018-19).”

In Scotland, flatted properties showed the largest increase, rising by 3.4 per cent in the year to May 2020 to £112,793. Terraced properties showed the smallest increase, rising by 1.1 per cent in the year to May 2020 to £128,450.

Average price increases were recorded in the majority (21) of local authorities, when comparing prices with the previous year. The largest increase was in West Dunbartonshire, where the average price increased by 13.7 per cent to £118,795. The largest decrease was recorded in Inverclyde, where the average price fell by 12.5 per cent to £88,477.

Annual percentage change in the average residential property price by local authority shown on map

In May 2020, the highest-priced area to purchase a property was City of Edinburgh, where the average price was £273,601. In contrast, the lowest-priced area to purchase a property was Inverclyde, where the average price was £88,477.

Average residential property price by local authority on map

Further information on HPI Scotland by local authority, property type, first time buyers and cash sales can be found in the latest HPI Scotland publication.

As with other indicators in the housing market, which typically fluctuate from month-to-month, it is important not to put too much weight on one month’s set of house price data. This will be particularly important over the coming few months, as COVID-19 has reduced the volume of transactions within the market, making trends between months more volatile than usual.

Notes to editors

  1. Registers of Scotland is the public body responsible for compiling and maintaining registers relating to property and other legal documents in Scotland. Registers of Scotland records and safeguards the rights of the individual while providing open access to information on the registers.
  2. For the publication schedule for the UK HPI see the calendar of release dates.
  3. The statistics have been produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. The UK House Price Index is a joint publication with our publication partners: HM Land Registry for England and Wales, Land & Property Services Northern Ireland and Office for National Statistics. The UK HPI was designated as National Statistics by the Office for Statistics Regulation on 18 January 2019.
  4. Due to the introduction of government measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus in March 2020, the UK HPI was suspended after the publication of the March 2020 UK HPI. The May 2020 UK HPI was originally due to be published on 15 July 2020. Through discussions with our UK HPI partners and further analysis, we have set out a timetable to resume publishing. The UK HPI and the subset of figures for Scotland have met the necessary quality standard, with sufficient volume of transactions to be representative of housing market activity. The August 2020 UK HPI is scheduled to be published on 21 October, by which we would have resumed the normal publication schedule. We will continue to work with our UK HPI partners to monitor the data to ensure the quality of the UK HPI.
  5. Registers of Scotland provides data on residential property sales for the Scotland element of the UK House Price Index. Separate HPI releases are also published by HM Land Registry and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland, which focus on the figures for England and Wales and for Northern Ireland. The Office for National Statistics also publishes a monthly HPI statistical bulletin with commentary on the whole of the UK.
  6. Details of all of our property statistics releases and future publication dates are available on our website. A comparison guide comparing the different house price index measures that are published in the UK is also available.
  7. Information on individual property purchase prices is available for free via our ScotLIS service.
  8. Sign up for our data stats alert service.


  1. All average prices reported from the UK HPI are geometric means, which will typically be closer to the median than the arithmetic mean.
  2. Due to there being a period of 2 to 8 weeks between completion and registration of sales, volume figures based on the month of date of entry are presented up to March because April and May 2020 figures are likely to change when more recent sales applications data are received.
  3. Comparison between the latest provisional estimate for March 2020 with the original provisional estimate for March 2019 as recorded before final figures available. The final revised volume of sales in March 2019 was 8,384 an annual decrease of 28.4 per cent in March 2020. However, the sales volume for March 2020 is still subject to revision.
  4. Na h-Eileanan Siar decreased by 24.5 per cent. Local authority areas where sales volumes within the 12 months to March 2020 represent less than 1.0 per cent of the all Scotland sales volume are excluded from the figures used for highlighting purposes due to the volatility of the market in these areas.

Media contact

Andy Richardson
PR manager
Telephone: 0131 200 3994 | Mobile: 07975 618126