I don’t purport to be an expert on the Scottish housing market. But I did notice an interesting piece of evidence when perusing the latest House Price Index data from ONS published on 18 December last year.
The chart below shows the mix-adjusted housing prices monthly from 2002 for the UK countries relative to the UK. The data are not seasonally adjusted, which should be ok if seasonality is similar across countries in UK.
The chart highlights one or two interesting facts.
First, there is the significant absolute and relative boom and collapse in Northern Ireland house prices. Moreover, the recession in the Northern Ireland housing market appears to be continuing.
Secondly, the position of the Scottish housing market is better. Absolutely and relatively compared to Wales and Northern Ireland; and relative to England.
There is not a lot to shout about here. But if house prices are relevant to the household spending then this is one factor that appears to have been more favourable in Scotland than in the other countries of the UK over the last few years.
The good news appears to run out, though, after July 2011 when there was some subsequent slight deterioration in relative Scottish house prices.
So, I don’t expect much of a relative boost to Scottish household demand on this account over the next few months.