It’s no surprise to read that house prices have rocketed in the last decade.
The difference in the rate of house price growth between north and south is startling.
24housing drills down into the property market to reveal which areas have seen the biggest and smallest price changes over the past 10 years.
Dive in to find out more!
Where have house prices risen most and least in the UK?
Average house prices across Great Britain have risen by 53% over the last decade from £222,989 to £341,019, but the huge difference in price rises in certain areas is highlighted in a survey published by property portal Rightmove in February 2022.
Taking top place is Margate on the Kent coast, where house prices have doubled in 10 years, a +102% increase; now, the average price of a house by the sea there is £294,209. Kent features strongly in the list of highest house price growth spots, with Sheerness, Dartford, Broadstairs and Walderslade the best performing places. Also among the top performers are Bristol’s Horfield and Bedminster areas, along with Basildon in Essex and Hastings in East Sussex.
The area which has experienced the lowest house price growth over the decade is Middlesbrough in the northeast, where the average price of a house is just 6% more than it was 10 years ago at £132,792; between 2012 and 2016 prices there fell by 2% and they have grown by 8% since. Five of the 10 areas which have seen the lowest asking price growth are in the north, namely County Durham and County Lancashire.
In the highest performing region, the east of England, average house prices are up by 65% over the decade, followed by the southeast, the Midlands, the southwest, London, Wales, the northwest, Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber, and then the northeast, the lowest performing region, where property prices have risen by 25% over 10 years.
The highest house price increases by area:
- Margate, average house price: £294,209, (102% increase over 10 years)
- Horfield in Bristol, average house price: £385,003, (96%)
- Dover, average house price: £254,100, (96%)
- Sheerness, Kent, average house price: £271,570 (93.4%)
- Basildon, Essex, average house price: £328,696, (91.4%)
- Dartford, Kent, average house price: £352,386, (91.2%)
- Broadstairs, Kent, average house price: £462,323, (90.4%)
- Hastings, East Sussex, average house price: £310,182, (89.7%)
- Walderslade, Kent, average house price: £321,506, (88.9%)
- Bedminster, Bristol, average house price: £354,336, (88.5%)
The lowest asking price growth areas:
The northeast areas at the bottom of the list include Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Stanley and Houghton Le Spring in County Durham; Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, along with the northwest areas of Blackpool and Fleetwood in Lancashire and Kilmarnock in Ayrshire.
- Middlesbrough, average house price in January 2022: £132,792, (6.2% change on decade)
- Peterlee, County Durham, average house price: £112,263, (8.4%)
- Hartlepool, average house price: £136,088, (8.9%)
- Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, average house price: £117.085, (11.7%)
- Newcastle-upon-Tyne, average house price: £199,230, (12.2%)
- Blackpool, Lancashire, average house price: £139,295, (12.3%)
- Fleetwood, Lancashire, average house price: £135,202, (12.4%)
- Stanley, County Durham, average house price: £117,500, (12.5%)
- Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, average house price: £149,758, (12.6%)
- Houghton-Le-Spring, County Durham, average house price: £148,614, (12.8%)
The last decade in the housing market
The sharpest rate of price growth over the decade happened between the latter half of 2020 and into 2021. According to the `ONS (Office for National Statistics) UK house price index: December 2021,’ average house prices in the UK rose by 10.8% over the year to December 2021. This meant that the average price of a UK house was £275,000 in December 2021 – a record figure and £27,000 higher than the same time the previous year.
Average house prices increased in England over the year to December 2021 by 10.7% to £293,000. In Wales, prices increased by 13% to £205,000; in Scotland by 11% to £180,000 and in Northern Ireland by 10.7% to £159,000. Interestingly, London saw the lowest annual price growth of any region at 5.5%, although property prices are beginning to rise there now again as people return to work.
The Covid-19 effect
Unexpectedly, this growth coincided with Covid-19 and successive lockdowns which led many people to look for homes with more space, often away from the major cities, boosting property markets in the hinterlands. The flexibility of working from home has proved a game-changer, creating the opportunity for a lot of people to leave London and either work from home completely or commute to the city for the odd day a week. This new mindset was seized upon as people realised that they could sell in the capital and enjoy a better quality of life elsewhere. The impetus opened up many parts of the southeast, particularly on the coast and in the countryside with good transport links to London.
Of course, the mood was boosted by the UK government’s decision to subsidise the property market by reducing Stamp Duty for a period from July 2020: Scotland and Wales brought in changes later that month and crucially, interest rates remained low. Sellers asked for more their houses as they realised that buyers’ costs had reduced; add to this scenario, low levels of housing stock and high demand and the result has been soaring prices.
Top property hotspot Margate has seen substantial investment in recent years as Kent County Council attempts to win back tourists with attractions such as the Turner Contemporary art gallery. Its sandy beaches and thriving arts scene, combined with good links to London have really raised its profile; the area also received a boost from the opening of the eight-acre St James shopping centre in Dover in 2018 and plans were announced late in 2020 for improvements to train links from Dover to London St Pancras, which would bring journey times to under 60 minutes.
Managing director of Cooke & Co cookeandco estate agents in Margate, Damien Cooke said:
Margate had started its regeneration journey when the Turner Contemporary art gallery opened and travel links with the high-speed train came into being, but since coming out of the first lockdown, we have found the demand for properties in Margate and the surrounding areas to be at an all-time high. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, which is fantastic for an area that has always suffered from deprivation.
Work from home trend
I believe this is due to high level of people now working from home which allows clients to move to areas like Margate and enjoy a completely different lifestyle, whilst benefiting from more affordable homes.
Margate’s wealth of sandy clean beaches, clean air and a relaxed pace of life with growing numbers of wonderful independent restaurants, bars and cafes opening, means that there’s a real buzz and sense of optimism here that has not been seen since the heady days of the 50’s, when Margate was a prime tourist location. The art scene here has done wonders for the town with the Turner Gallery and recent opening of Freedman Gallery.
Mr Cooke added that property prices are still going up, but less dramatically now.
It is a supply and demand issue. We are finding the prices are still rising, the majority of the properties that we have sell quickly, but there is still a chance to purchase the odd bargain as Thanet and Margate are still comparatively cheap compared to other locations.
In terms of the demographic of the area, Mr Cooke said:
It is a real mix; we have first time buyers both local and from out of town, as well and families; we also find a lot of people retire here too. It’s a great place to live, work or retire.
Supply and demand
Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said:
House prices rising so quickly in these areas of the south is a sign of increased demand outstripping supply over the past ten years, with areas such as Margate and Hastings offering a life by the coast at a price lower than the national average. The government’s target in their Levelling Up Paper to increase the numbers of first-time buyers is welcome news, but they need to ensure their plans to achieve this consider all areas of Great Britain, especially places where the rising cost of rent means many people are struggling to save enough for a deposit.
He added that the property market is being driven by people who fear being beaten on price to secure their ideal home, and speedy tactics are being employed to get deals signed.
The team at Haart estate agents in Bristol haart doubled the number of appointments it carried out in January. Area partner Tom Howell said:
The property market in Bristol is absolutely electric. Since the end of the first lockdown, we have been inundated with clients looking to relocate into Bristol from the east or upsize from their own homes in the city. Being so close to the countryside offers a perfect mixture of fast-paced city life but also country living. We are really finding the south of Bristol extremely busy at the moment, but the demand is generally consistent throughout all the areas we cover.
Heading up north, Middlesbrough has been affected by the loss of major industries over the last decade, notably steel, which is clearly reflected in its position in the survey as the area where house prices have risen the least.
However, Ian McClelland of Michael Poole estate agents in Middlesbrough michael poole said that the property market is extremely vibrant with many people realising that the area has much to offer. He said:
The property market is still very busy on Teesside and demand for all type, size and style of property is outstripping supply many times over. Houses are getting dozens of viewings and multiple offers within a very short space of time.
Middlesbrough is very ‘post-industrial’ and we’ve been hit hard in the past few decades with the closure of large, major employing and well-paying steel work sites, shipyards and the ICI chemical plant. The good news is there is lots of big investment in the area, and the creation of thousands of new well-paid jobs. Tees Dock has been given ‘Free Port’ status, the old steel works site has been regenerated by ‘Teesworx’ and Teesside are pioneers for the offshore wind farm industry.
Middlesbrough is lucky to be within a 10-minute drive of the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors and country parks, a 10-minute drive to the coast and within easy reach of Durham, Newcastle and Leeds. I think we haven’t seen the end of the price rises yet, especially when demand is so high, and supply is so sparse. Even with the rise in interest rates recently, money is still cheap and easy to borrow; there is no such thing as a price ceiling anymore as we’ve seen price rises of up to 20% since the end of the first lockdown.
Where do UK house prices go from here?
Property hotspots have always existed, but the pandemic has dramatically changed the housing landscape; depending on your viewpoint, this may be seen as bringing prosperity to a far wider range of areas and improving people’s quality of life, or making it impossible for low earners to get on the housing ladder.
As yet, there is little sign of the market calming down. According to Rightmove, house prices experienced their biggest jump between January and February 2022 in over 20 years – the most frenetic start ever to a new year.
In contrast to these eye watering price increases, average earnings rose by just 4.9% in the year to October, according to the ONS. The start of interest rate rises is surely going to dampen people’s enthusiasm for taking out huge mortgages, combined with the prospect of escalating household bills, fears about inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, for the time being, the pent-up demand for a limited pool of properties is keeping house prices astonishingly high.
Now I’d like to hear from you
What are your thoughts about the differences in property prices across the UK?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.