- Waltham Forest, on London/Essex border, has seen most growth in past decade
- Burnley in Lancashire holds on to its crown of cheapest place to buy in Britain
- Four of the top 20 areas for property price growth are in and around Manchester
- Kent, and in particular the Thanet towns of Ramsgate and Margate have increased by over £26,000 alone in the last year
This year, it’s safe to say house price indices have painted a mixed picture of the value of our homes in Britain. While Halifax said last week that prices were ‘unexpectedly’ up 1.6 per cent annually, another survey, from Nationwide, claimed they had fallen 3.1 per cent — the biggest drop in 14 years. Many pockets of the country have seen a property price explosion in the past decade.
A major analysis of the most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for Money Mail and This is Money by estate agents Hamptons International shows 17 areas in Britain have seen property prices more than double since 2013.
If you own a home in the pockets around the Essex and Kent estuary or near Manchester, you’re likely to be one of the big winners. There are no longer any areas where a typical home costs less than £100,000. A major analysis of the most recent Office for National Statistics data shows 17 areas in Britain have seen property prices more than double since 2013.
The new trendy bit of east London
Top of the house-price tree for percentage growth in the past decade is Waltham Forest, on the London/Essex border. The two big areas encompassed in this borough are Chingford and Walthamstow.
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Prices have risen from £235,210 to £515,320 — total growth of £280,110, or 119 per cent. In the past year, values have rocketed £37,291.
Henry Sherwood, managing director of The Buying Agents, which advises home buyers, says: “The area has performed incredibly well in the last decade for residential buyers and investors alike. A decade ago, it was popular with first and second-rung homebuyers as you could snap up a lovely Victorian terrace for under half a million.”
Aneisha Beveridge, Hamptons’ head of research, says: “Waltham Forest, which borders Stratford, has benefited hugely from the 2012 Olympic-led redevelopment.”
Hastings, in East Sussex, takes the silver medal, with house values in the seaside town rising £157,940 — or 115 per cent — from just £137,090 a decade ago, to £295,030.
Josh Avis, of Phillip Mann estate agents in Seaford, East Sussex, near Hastings, says: “We get a lot of movers from London, particularly south and east London, who want a change of pace of life and to be by the sea.”
A year ago, the average property in Hastings cost £21,061 less than it does today.
Top of the house price tree for growth in the past decade is Waltham Forest, on the London/Essex borders where prices have risen 119%, along with Thanet in Kent
Thanet, in Kent, which includes Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate, takes bronze, with values rising by £170,200, from £147,950 to £318,150, since 2013. In the past year, they are up £26,670.
Mr Sherwood says working from home is a factor here, and adds: “Thanet was always popular with the creative and arty set and it has really boomed with the advent of technology.”
The London borough of Barking and Dagenham takes fourth place, while Bristol is fifth. Values in this major city are up by £186,100, from £177,130 a decade ago to £363,230 today, with an influx of creatives and young buyers.
The Thames Estuary boom
One of the clearest trends from the Hamptons data is just how much property prices have boomed in pockets of Essex and Kent clustered around the River Thames, to the east of London. This trend is likely to be driven by the proximity to London, with good train connections — but also because people are looking for value.
Mr Sherwood says: “For many buyers, it was worth going an extra stop or two down the line for an extra bedroom or 10-15 per cent more interior space.”
Nearly half of the 20 areas with the biggest percentage growth in property prices are in these areas: Rochford, Thurrock, Basildon, Southend-on-Sea and Castle Point in Essex; Thanet, Medway and Swale in Kent, and the London borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Overall, to have bought the average property in one of these nine areas would have cost a buyer £174,640 in 2013, our analysis shows. Now, that figure stands at £356,002 — more than double. It means properties have added £18,136 of value, on average, each year of the past decade.
Manchester is thriving
Four of the top 20 areas for property price growth are in or around Manchester — Tameside, Trafford, Salford and the city centre. To buy in one of these areas a decade ago would have typically cost £130,495. Today, that figure stands at £261,610 — a doubling in a decade. Values are up £13,111 every year since 2013.
Mr Sherwood says: “Much of this growth has come from investors as the entry price in Manchester was half of that of the South.”
Are we on the verge of a house price crash or soft landing?
House prices have started to fall annually for the first time since the early months of the pandemic. Building society giant Nationwide’s index recently showed the average property value was down 3.1 per cent annually in March. Other major indices show house prices show house prices keeping their head above water annually, but down from the peak last summer. This comes as mortgage rates have risen substantially since the Bank of England started raising base rate at the end of 2021.
So, what will happen next and will we see an interest rate-induced crash or a soft landing? And would lower house prices not be a good thing?
There are no areas to buy below £100,000
In 2013, there were 28 areas of Britain where you could buy a typical home for under £100,000. There are now none. A decade ago, £100,000 would have bought you a home in seven areas of both Scotland and Northern Ireland and six in the North West.
In Wales, four areas had average prices under this level, as did two areas in the East Midlands and one area each in Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands.
The average home in Nottingham cost £99,010 in 2013 — now, it’s £193,860. That rapid growth puts it just outside the top 20 locations for biggest percentage price rise.
Burnley in Lancashire holds the title of the cheapest place to buy. It costs £117,320 on average, compared to £71,040 ten years ago.
The lowest growth is in posh London
At the bottom of the pile for house price growth over the past decade is Aberdeen. It’s the only area on the entire list to have seen a decrease in values, a drop of 15 per cent in the past decade. Aberdeenshire as a whole saw growth of 19 per cent.
Hamptons points out the Scottish city is ‘a unique market, predominantly impacted by the ups and downs in the oil industry’.
Completing the bottom five for percentage growth are some of the most exclusive parts of London: Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster. Prices in these boroughs are up 21 per cent, 23 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. But, although they were so high in these areas already, they have still seen values rise £218,640, £140,400 and £185,800 respectively. According to the ONS data, Kensington remains the only area in the country where a typical home costs seven figures — rising from £1,061,390 10 years ago, to £1,280,030 today.
Mr Sherwood says: “Many owners simply do not need to sell in hard times so they just ride out price fluctuations.”
Will prices ever double again in such a short time?
Aneisha Beveridge believes we are unlikely to see as much house price growth in the next ten years as we’ve seen in the past decade. She says: “Affordability is stretched, and mortgage rates will likely remain higher during the next decade, limiting what buyers are able and willing to spend on their homes. We think the current property cycle will come to a close in the next few years and from 2025, we expect history to repeat itself.”
To see the full top 50 property hotspot league table, go to This is Money’s website