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Southend is UK's top house price performer in 2012

27th December 2012 Print

Southend recorded the biggest rise in house prices among major UK towns and cities over the past year, according to new research by Halifax.

Based on Halifax's own house price data, the average selling price in Southend was 14.8% higher than in the previous year, increasing from £172,782 in 2011 to £198,418 in 20121. Prices are up 2.1% on average across the whole of Essex.

Basingstoke in second place

Basingstoke in Hampshire experienced the second biggest rise in house prices with a 14.7% gain. Southend and Basingstoke are both within comfortable commutable distance of London.  Three other London commuter towns – Rochester, St Albans and Dartford – feature in the five major towns and cities recording the biggest price gains over the past 12 months. Six of the ten towns recording the strongest price rises in 2012 are in the South East.

Majority of worst performers outside southern England

Craigavon in Northern Ireland (-18.4%) and Wishaw in Scotland (-12.5%) experienced the largest falls in average selling prices in 2012.

Nine of the ten towns that saw the biggest declines in prices are outside southern England, reflecting the generally weaker performance of the housing market outside the south.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented: "Nationally, conditions in the housing market have been largely unchanged over the past 12 months with little overall movement in either house prices or sales for the second consecutive year.  This picture, however, conceals considerable local differences. A number of towns and cities have recorded significant changes in house prices over the past 12 months.  Several towns within easy commuting distance of the capital feature in the list of top performers, whilst the majority of towns that have fared worst in house price terms are outside southern England, where economic conditions have generally been less favourable.

"We expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013.  The generalised north / south divide in house price performance seen during 2012 is likely to continue next year.  House prices are expected to be strongest in London and the South East as this part of the country performs best in economic terms."