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The London Borough of Greenwich recorded the biggest rise in house prices among major UK towns and cities over the past year, according to new research. The study, based on house price data from leading lender the Halifax, shows that the average house price in this south east corner of the capital was 24.6% higher than in the previous year, increasing from £263,183 to £328,044 in 2014. The Halifax report says that this is a significantly faster increase than in London as a whole, which saw price growth of 13% over the same time. Ealing, in West London, experienced the second biggest rise in average house prices with an increase of 24.5%, the research also shows. Crawley in Sussex with growth of 22.4% saw the third largest rise and is the only town outside London making the top 10. And overall some nine of the 10 areas with the strongest price growth in the past year are in London. These include Tower Hamlets with growth of 22%, Kingston upon Thames at 21.4% and Sutton in south London at 20.7%. Sheffield is the top performing area outside the south with prices rising by an average of 13.7% over the past year. Over the past five years, the South Yorkshire city has seen a significant increase in employment, particularly in managerial, professional and technical skilled occupations. This may have been a key factor in helping to boost housing demand, and hence prices, in the city. The towns experiencing a decline in the average value of homes over the past year are all outside southern England. Bury in Lancashire saw a fall of 4.8%, Keighley in West Yorkshire was down 4.4% and Nuneaton in Warwickshire down 3.2%. Four of the 10 weakest performing towns are in the North West. Besides Bury, they are St. Helens with a fall of 2.6%, Preston down 2% and Rochdale down 0.9%. ‘A number of towns and cities have recorded significant rises in house prices over the past 12 months. Nine of the 10 best performing areas are in the capital, and therefore within easy reach of central London,’ said Craig McKinlay, mortgage director at the Halifax. ‘Continuing improvements in the economy, rising employment and low mortgage rates will no doubt have supported housing demand and, combined with shortage of homes coming on to the market, will have contributed to rising property values,’ he explained. ‘At the other end of the spectrum, several of the towns experiencing price falls in the past year are still suffering from relatively weak employment conditions, which may have had an adverse impact on their local housing markets,’ he added. Continue reading →
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