Forget the countryside… It's towns and cities where house prices have rocketed
00:20 GMT, 10 March 2012
The average house price in cities has rocketed by nearly 400 per cent in 25 years.
According to a report published today, the typical price of 35,209 in 1986 soared to 169,707 by last year – leaving many who bought homes in the 1980s sitting on a small fortune.
The report by Halifax also found that house prices in most cities rose by more than those in the surrounding suburbs and rural areas.
Truro in Cornwall has seen the biggest house price increase with properties in the city up 550 per cent in the last 25 years
The Cornish city of Truro has seen the biggest rises, with prices up 550 per cent over the last 25 years.
The average property there cost 37,237 in 1986, rising to 242,100 last year.
Edinburgh, Brighton and Hove and the City of Westminster are also in the top five, having recorded rises of 500 per cent or higher.
Martin Ellis, a housing economist at the bank, said house prices in the ‘vast majority’ of cities have performed better than prices in the rest of each region.
Of the 59 cities examined in the research, 70 per cent recorded average house price increases above the local average over the period.
There are 66 cities, which are commonly defined as being a large town, or a town with a cathedral, in the UK.
The historic city centre of Edinburgh has seen house prices increase by 509 per cent since 1986
Average house prices in Brighton and Hove has increased from 41,582 in 1986 to 249,532 in 2011
Halifax excluded seven from its research – the City of London, Newry and Armagh in Northern Ireland, Ripon in North Yorkshire, Bangor and St Davids in Wales and Wells in Somerset – because they had too few house sales to be statistically reliable.
Mr Ellis said: ‘City prices are generally supported by demand from those looking to gain from the economic and lifestyle benefits often associated with residing in major urban areas.’
Despite those supposed economic benefits, Halifax’s research shows that buyers in many cities have not been protected from recent price drops.
Since 2007, average prices in cities have fallen by 18 per cent – although this is less sharp than the 24 per cent drop across all homes.
Despite the dip, soaring numbers of families are having to rent because they still cannot afford to buy.
Figures from the Government’s English Housing Survey show that 16.5 per cent of all households in England are renting their home privately – the most since the 1970s.
Meanwhile, the number of homeowners is slowly collapsing, having fallen every year since 2005. Of the 21.9million households in England, 66 per cent currently own their home, against 70.9 per cent in the peak year of 2003.
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