St Albans most expensive town in the UK
Belfast saw the fastest rate of house price growth in the UK – house prices rose by £200 a day.
Oxford maintains its position as one of the most expensive places to live, while boat race rival Cambridge slips back in the rankings.
Newcastle and Durham both saw prices fall by 3% in the year.
Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “House price growth recorded another strong year in 2007, but the national figures disguise movements in different parts of the country. Nationwide’s house price survey of 30 major towns and cities in the UK shows how wide the disparities across the country can be.
“During 2007, a total of five towns and cities broke through the £300,000 barrier. Belfast, Oxford, London, Brighton and Cambridge joined St Albans as towns and cities in the UK where the average house price exceeds £300,000.
“Belfast saw the fastest rate of house price growth in 2007. Prices increased by 32% to take the average house price to £306,698. This is equivalent to an increase of £201 per day and brings Belfast up to fifth place in the ranking of most expensive towns and cities in our sample (up from seventh place this time last year), overtaking Edinburgh and Cambridge.
“St Albans is still the most expensive town in which to buy a house in the UK. The average price in St Albans is £347,563 – over £40,000 higher than in Belfast and just over £8,000 more than its closest rival Oxford. House prices in St Albans increased by 13% during the year, this is equivalent to a daily increase of £112.
“Oxfordand Cambridge broke through the £300,000 barrier and Oxford maintained its position as the second most expensive town in our sample. However, its boat race rival Cambridge slipped back two places to sixth place. Oxford saw the fourth fastest rate of growth during 2007 (joint with St Albans), at 13% compared to the 9% rise in prices experienced by Cambridge.
“In the North, Newcastle and Durham both saw prices fall by 3% in 2007. Durham is the cheapest city in our sample with an average house price of £152,902. Newcastle slipped back three places to 24th place in 2007. House prices fell by the equivalent of £15 per day in 2007 taking the average price of a house in Newcastle to £178,309.
“With an average house price of £257,288, Edinburgh was the only Scottish city to appear in the top ten, coming in at seventh place. However, in terms of house price growth, Aberdeenwas the stronger performer with an increase of 25% and an average daily rise of £130 – almost double that of Edinburgh.”