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News: 'Decade of the west' for house prices

Western Britain leads the way in house price gains over the last ten years, according to a new report from the Halifax.

Eighteen of the 20 counties with the strongest house prices increases since 1996 are in western Britain, said the Halifax, with 13 in Wales, four in the South West (Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset) and one in the West Midlands (Shropshire).

The remaining two counties in the top 20 are both in the South East the Isle of Wight and East Sussex.

The 19 areas recording the smallest rise in average house prices since 1996 are all in Scotland.

The average house price in the most expensive county, Surrey, is currently 3.2 times that in the least expensive county, Blaenau Gwent - the same as in 1996. In monetary terms, however, the gap has widened significantly from £67,682 in 1996 to £206,117 in 2006 an increase of 138% in real terms (i.e. once the increase retail price inflation over the period is taken into account).

Biggest Price Rises

Cornwall has recorded the biggest house price rises over the past 10 years with a 268% gain in the average price from £53,081 in 1996 to £195,388 in 2006 Quarter 1.

The next five best performers during the past decade were all in Wales: Anglesey (252%), Ceredigion (244%), Carmarthenshire (243%), Caerphilly (229%) and Powys (222%).

The average house price has at least trebled since 1996 in almost one in three (28) counties. Prices have at least doubled over the past ten years in all 102 counties analysed.

Smallest Price Rises

Aberdeenshire (103%) and Dundee City (103%) have experienced the lowest average house price gains since 1996 followed by Argyll & Bute (104%) and Renfrewshire (104%).

Most Expensive

Surrey has remained the most expensive county in the UK with a current average price of £298,835 despite being just outside the top 20 in terms of house price growth since 1996.

Surrey, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire were the four most expensive counties in the UK in both 1996 and 2006.

Nine of the current 10 most expensive counties are in the South East with Dorset in the South West being the exception. The 10 most expensive counties all have an average price in excess of £200,000.

The most expensive areas outside southern England are Monmouthshire (£198,030), East Renfrewshire (£192,075), Herefordshire (£190,588) and North Yorkshire (£185,048).

Least Expensive

Blaenau Gwent is the least expensive area in the UK with an average house price in 2006 Quarter 1 of £92,718. Blaenau Gwent was also the least expensive in 1996 when the average price was £30,884.

The 10 least expensive counties in the UK in 2006 are all in Scotland (8) and Wales (2). In 1996, the five least expensive areas were all in Wales with the remainder of the 10 least expensive counties in Northern Ireland (3), the North (County Durham) and Yorkshire & the Humber (South Humberside).

House Price Milestones

In 1996 no county had an average house price above £100,000 and 32 counties (31% of the total) had an average price below £50,000.

Currently, only Blaenau Gwent (£92,718) has an average price below £100,000. Ten counties have an average price in excess of £200,000.

"Both parts of the UK (Cornwall and Wales) are popular areas for people seeking to relocate and for those looking for a holiday home," said Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis. "These factors, combined with more affordable property than that available in the South East, have contributed to the substantial house price gains in the last ten years."

Counties Ranked by % Change 1996 - 2006

County

Region

1996
Average
price*

2006
Average
price*

% change

Cornwall

South West

53,081

195,388

268%

Isle Of Anglesey

Wales

44,998

158,527

252%

Ceredigion

Wales

48,137

165,663

244%

Carmarthenshire

Wales

44,348

152,049

243%

Caerphilly

Wales

37,052

121,975

229%

Powys

Wales

53,463

172,199

222%

Isle Of Wight

South East

53,192

170,156

220%

Gwynedd

Wales

45,903

145,633

217%

Dorset

South West

65,679

208,335

217%

Monmouthshire

Wales

62,725

198,030

216%

East Sussex

South East

64,686

203,434

214%

Pembrokeshire

Wales

46,682

146,432

214%

Gloucestershire

South West

62,009

193,514

212%

Somerset

South West

58,739

183,277

212%

Shropshire

West Midlands

55,181

171,270

210%

Bridgend

Wales

45,759

141,045

208%

Flintshire

Wales

51,776

158,468

206%

Newport

Wales

46,262

141,575

206%

Cardiff

Wales

53,934

163,810

204%

Conwy

Wales

49,880

151,332

203%

Surrey

South East

98,566

298,835

203%

Herefordshire

West Midlands

63,058

190,588

202%

Neath Port Talbot

Wales

39,688

119,863

202%

Devon

South West

59,179

178,663

202%

Tyne And Wear

North

45,266

136,293

201%

Avon

South West

61,613

185,019

200%

Blaenau Gwent

Wales

30,884

92,718

200%

Lincolnshire

East Midlands

47,965

143,949

200%

Norfolk

East Anglia

52,803

157,961

199%

Kent

South East

69,665

208,184

199%

Essex

South East

69,936

208,738

198%

County Durham

North

41,861

124,888

198%

Derbyshire

East Midlands

50,942

151,831

198%

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

Wales

38,543

114,600

197%

Swansea

Wales

47,566

141,093

197%

Leicestershire

East Midlands

53,214

157,762

196%

Warwickshire

West Midlands

62,442

183,861

194%

County Armagh

Northern Ireland

40,383

118,592

194%

County Antrim

Northern Ireland

43,308

126,949

193%

Suffolk

East Anglia

58,679

171,216

192%

Northumberland

North

49,685

144,335

191%

Bedfordshire

South East

62,920

181,632

189%

Cumbria

North

51,522

148,637

188%

Oxfordshire

South East

82,343

236,882

188%

North Yorkshire

Yorkshire & the Humber

64,446

185,048

187%

Hampshire

South East

68,943

197,668

187%

Berkshire

South East

86,177

246,460

186%

West Sussex

South East

76,304

218,139

186%

County Tyrone

Northern Ireland

41,693

119,108

186%

Northamptonshire

East Midlands

54,351

154,863

185%

County Down

Northern Ireland

50,440

142,903

183%

Cheshire

North West

64,273

179,994

180%

East Lothian

Scotland

63,598

178,051

180%

County Londonderry

Northern Ireland

44,720

125,058

180%

Merseyside

North West

51,030

142,692

180%

Hertfordshire

South East

89,470

249,824

179%

Lancashire

North West

48,187

134,271

179%

Buckinghamshire

South East

86,534

239,014

176%

Cambridgeshire

East Anglia

63,624

174,865

175%

South Yorkshire

Yorkshire & the Humber

45,729

125,031

173%

Denbighshire

Wales

50,573

138,102

173%

Wrexham

Wales

49,759

135,618

173%

Cleveland

North

47,637

129,173

171%

Midlothian

Scotland

62,218

168,396

171%

Nottinghamshire

East Midlands

50,763

137,385

171%

Worcestershire

West Midlands

65,966

178,133

170%

Wiltshire

South West

65,873

177,338

169%

Staffordshire

West Midlands

51,809

138,751

168%

Torfaen

Wales

44,099

117,650

167%

East Riding

Yorkshire & the Humber

47,145

125,594

166%

West Yorkshire

Yorkshire & the Humber

51,960

137,589

165%

West Midlands

West Midlands

55,884

147,364

164%

South Humberside

Yorkshire & the Humber

43,935

115,385

163%

The Vale Of Glamorgan

Wales

62,228

163,323

162%

Highland

Scotland

54,745

141,411

158%

East Renfrewshire

Scotland

74,886

192,075

156%

Glasgow City

Scotland

50,429

128,555

155%

Edinburgh, City Of

Scotland

70,471

179,494

155%

Stirling

Scotland

66,528

164,224

147%

West Lothian

Scotland

62,877

150,661

140%

South Lanarkshire

Scotland

52,833

125,517

138%

South Ayrshire

Scotland

58,406

138,306

137%

Merthyr Tydfil

Wales

45,109

106,743

137%

North Ayrshire

Scotland

46,061

107,942

134%

Perth and Kinross

Scotland

64,842

149,797

131%

Dumfries and Galloway

Scotland

52,220

119,458

129%

Angus

Scotland

54,669

124,266

127%

North Lanarkshire

Scotland

49,808

111,666

124%

Moray

Scotland

52,719

116,757

121%

Fife

Scotland

53,683

118,725

121%

West Dunbartonshire

Scotland

51,061

111,699

119%

East Ayrshire

Scotland

47,065

102,767

118%

Scottish Borders

Scotland

66,887

145,455

117%

East Dunbartonshire

Scotland

83,246

176,838

112%

Clackmannanshire

Scotland

51,479

108,508

111%

Inverclyde

Scotland

53,506

112,028

109%

Falkirk

Scotland

53,732

112,307

109%

Aberdeen City

Scotland

65,518

136,023

108%

Argyll and Bute

Scotland

61,641

125,873

104%

Renfrewshire

Scotland

56,835

115,801

104%

Dundee City

Scotland

51,084

103,756

103%

Aberdeenshire

Scotland

69,598

141,298

103%

*12 Months to March.

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