The biggest increase in house prices in the UK in 2016 was in the southern England town of Luton where the average property value increased by almost 20%, new research shows.
Based house price data from lender the Halifax, the average house price in the Bedfordshire increased from £214,934 to £256,636 in 2016, some19.4% higher than in the previous year and more than two and a half times the 7.5% increase in the UK as a whole.
The outer London borough of Barking and Dagenham recorded the second biggest rise in average house prices with an increase of 18.6% and in third place was Dunstable, not far from Luton, with a 17.9% rise in the past year.
All 10 top performers were in London and the South East of England. Basildon with a price increase of 17.2%, Chatham up 17.1%, Tower Hamlets up 15.8%, Watford up 15.3% and Basingstoke up 15.1%, all recorded price rises that were at least double the national average.
A small number of towns recorded declines in house prices in 2016 and by far the most significant fall was in Aberdeen in Scotland where prices fell by 6.9%. There were also marginal price decreases in a number of other towns including Falkirk down 1.1% and Inverness down 0.9%.
In Northern Ireland average property prices in Bangor, County Down, fell by 1.7% and they were down by 0.4% in Londonderry while in northern England prices fell by 0.5% in Blackpool and by 0.1% in Stockton on Tees. The Halifax report says that many of these areas are suffering from relatively weak employment and economic conditions, which continue to constrain local housing demand.
‘Most of the areas that have seen the biggest house price rises during 2016 are either within close commuting distance of the capital or in outer London,’ said Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax.
‘Demand in these areas has risen as substantial property price rises in central London over the last few years have caused increasing numbers of people to seek property in more affordable areas,’ he explained.
‘A few towns have experienced price falls, with the biggest in Aberdeen. On the north east coast of Scotland, it is highly dependent on the North Sea oil and gas sector. The substantial fall in oil prices in the past couple of years has hit the industry hard with adverse impact on demand for homes in the area. Price declines elsewhere have been modest,’ he added.
Enter your e-mail address to rec
Mortgages – From 0.99%
Tax – 9 Tax saving guides
Energy – Compare & save £500+
Broadband-TV – Virgin Sky BT Plusnet
Insurance – Home & Landlords
Conveyancing – Get a quote
List Rightmove & Zoopla – Free trial