East Dunbartonshire and Dumfries have recorded the second biggest rises in house prices among UK counties over the past year, according to the latest Bank of Scotland County House Price Survey.
Conwy in North Wales recorded the highest rise. Based on Bank of Scotland’s own house price data, the average house price in Conwy has increased by 13% over the past year from £144,185 in 2009 to £162,691 in 2010. After Conwy, real estate prices in East Dunbartonshire increased by 12% and Dumfries and Galloway by 11%.
Half of the counties with the biggest price rises are in the South of the country. Ten of the twenty counties delivering the highest house price growth in 2010 are in the South East or the South West. In contrast, just two counties in the North of England, Cheshire and County Durham, are in the top twenty with prices increases if 5% and 4% respectively.
The top house price performers are predominantly areas with above average house prices. Seven of the top ten also has an average house price that is higher than the UK average. Fourteen counties have an average house price in excess of £200,000.
Surrey is the most expensive county in the UK with an average house price of £296,344.
Blaenau Gwent in Wales is the least expensive county in the UK with an average house price of £86,385.
Over the past five years, many of the counties delivering the highest house price growth are in Scotland. The best performing county was Aberdeenshire with the average house price in the Scottish county increasing by 46%. Seven of the top ten are in Scotland with the remaining three all in Northern Ireland. English countries accounted for just three, Oxfordshire, Somerset and East Sussex, out of the twenty top performing counties.
‘Many of the counties recording the best house price performance in 2010 are in the south of England, reflecting the general outperformance of the housing market in this part of the country. However, over the past five years, Scotland dominates the top ten with many of the counties that recorded highest house price growth during this period located here,’ said Suren Thiru, housing economist at Bank of Scotland.
‘Looking forward, we predict that UK house prices at the end of 2011 will be at a broadly similar level to that at the end of 2010. We do, however, expect some modest variations in house price performance across the country. Prices are expected to be strongest in southern England as this part of the country is likely to fare better economically,’ Suren explained.
‘House prices outside southern England are likely to be constrained by a greater dependence on public sector employment at a time when this sector will be under pressure due to the government’s public spending reductions,’ Suren added.