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House prices in every UK town top £100,000 for the first time

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by Elaine Frei
House prices in every UK town top £100,000 for the first time

House price statistics from the first quarter of 2007 show that no town in the UK has an average price lower than £100,000 for the first time in history. In addition, according to the new price survey from the Halifax (LSE: HBOS), the ten towns with the largest increase in house prices in the past year are all in Northern Ireland, the first time that every town in the top ten has been in the same region. The average price for a house in Northern Ireland, in fact, broke through the £200,000 level in the first three months of the year. The only regions in the UK that have higher house prices than Northern Ireland are London, the South East, and the South West, according to the new data.

House prices rose in all regions of the UK during the first quarter, with the biggest increases occurring in Scotland, where house prices grew by 7.5 percent during the quarter. House prices in the South West grew at 5.4 percent, while those in Wales were up by 4.9 percent. The smallest increases came in the East Midlands, where house prices were up by 0.2 percent, and in Yorkshire and the Humber, where prices grew by 0.6 percent.

In the past year, Northern Ireland has seen the biggest increase in the average house price with a gain of 37 percent. Scotland’s rise comes in second, at 22.4 percent over the year. In England, London saw the greatest increase, at a 14.9 percent rise. The smallest increases were in the North, with a 5.6 percent rise over the past year, and in the East Midlands, with a gain of 5.8 percent over the year.

The report concludes that house prices will rise more slowly in the next few months as interest rates go up, real earnings decrease, and council tax bills increase more than inflation. Cited as evidence of this slowing trend are Bank of England figures that show mortgage approvals down 7 percent in the three months ending in February as well as the RICS February survey, which showed that new buyer enquiries fell in that month.

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News posted: April 24, 2007

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