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The UK's Cheapest And Priciest Towns

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Have you ever wondered how house prices in your town compare to others? And how fast they've gone up? Find out here!


As a "Statto" type, I get a thrill out of poring over big Excel spreadsheets full of lovely data (yes, I know, I'm a sad loser).

Hence, I was delighted when I came across a huge database on the Halifax website with information on house prices by postal town. Aha, I thought, here's a chance to find out which are the cheapest and most expensive UK towns to inhabit!

According to data from the Halifax House Price Index, these are the ten towns with the highest average house prices at the end of 2005 (note that this survey excludes properties worth over £1 million and towns with a sample size of under fifty properties in the Halifax database):

SAMPLE SIZE: 492 towns

Postal town

County

Average
house
price
(£)

Gerrards Cross

Bucks

649,239

Weybridge

Surrey

560,741

Henley-on-Thames

Oxfordshire

515,737

Richmond

Surrey

502,319

Sevenoaks

Kent

452,557

Ascot

Berkshire

436,769

Leatherhead

Surrey

426,821

Walton-on-Thames

Surrey

409,434

Teddington

Middlesex

408,312

Hook

Hampshire

406,584

It's no surprise to see that all ten towns are in southern England, mostly in the commuter belt around London. I live in one of these boroughs, where a modest three-bedroom terraced family home would set you back around half a million pounds -- ouch!

In fact, the 76 most expensive towns in the UK are all in England, with Chepstow in Gwent the only town outside of England in the top hundred (76th, with an average price of £225,000).

At the other end of the scale, these ten towns have the lowest average house prices:

Postal town

County

Average
house
price
(£)

Lochgelly

Fife

81,131

Nelson

Lancashire

84,004

Peterlee

County Durham

94,102

Ebbw Vale

Gwent

95,908

Clydebank

Strathclyde

96,279

Larne

County Antrim

96,651

Greenock

Strathclyde

97,766

Larkhall

Strathclyde

97,963

Aberdare

Mid Glamorgan

98,314

Hull

North Humberside

99,314

Again, it's no surprise to find the cheapest towns in Scotland, the North of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Now let's look at house-price increases across these towns. The Halifax data goes back to 1988, so we'll look at average price rises over the seventeen years from 1988 to 2005.

Here are the ten towns with the strongest house-price growth over this period, in £ terms:

SAMPLE SIZE: 435 towns

Postal town

County

Average
price
in 1988
(£)

Average
price
in 2005
(£)

Increase
(£)

Weybridge

Surrey

101,856

560,741

458,885

Richmond,-London

Surrey

144,240

502,319

358,079

Sevenoaks

Kent

119,317

452,557

333,240

Walton on Thames

Surrey

103,397

409,434

306,037

Leatherhead

Surrey

136,866

426,821

289,955

Godalming

Surrey

119,604

397,274

277,670

Twickenham

Middlesex

104,374

356,330

251,956

Stanmore

Middlesex

123,065

368,779

245,714

Guildford

Surrey

99,725

344,796

245,071

Ilkley

West Yorks

70,475

298,608

228,133

So, residents of genteel parts of Surrey, Middlesex and Kent have reaped handsome rewards in the house boom. At the other end of the scale, we have the following towns:

Postal town

County

Average
price
in 1988
(£)

Average
price
in 2005
(£)

Increase
(£)

Nelson

Lancashire

25,507

84,004

58,497

Peterlee

County Durham

31,391

94,102

62,711

Airdrie

Strathclyde

36,574

102,450

65,876

Greenock

Strathclyde

31,512

97,766

66,254

Ebbw Vale

Gwent

28,707

95,908

67,201

Larne

County Antrim

27,383

96,651

69,268

Paisley

Strathclyde

36,307

106,146

69,839

Great Yarmouth

Norfolk

57,554

127,766

70,212

Motherwell

Strathclyde

36,758

107,269

70,511

Hull

North Humb

28,678

99,314

70,636

As you can see, these towns are in the North of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which shows that the north-south housing divide is still alive and well, despite strong house-price growth outside of the Southeast.

Finally, let's look at house-price increases in percentage terms. Here are the top ten towns:

Postal town

County

Average
price
in 1988
(£)

Average
price
in 2005
(£)

Increase
(%)

Weybridge

Surrey

101,856

560,741

451

Houghton le Spring

Tyne & Wear

24,798

125,197

405

Armagh

County Armagh

25,649

125,901

391

Billingham

Cleveland

28,580

140,101

390

Bootle

Merseyside

22,490

110,165

390

Consett

County Durham

27,876

136,306

389

Whitley Bay

Tyne and Wear

35,590

170,530

379

Normanton

West Yorks

27,850

132,527

376

Wirral

Merseyside

41,485

194,827

370

Sowerby Bridge

West Yorks

33,338

155,580

367

Although leafy Weybridge tops this table, all of the other big risers are to be found in the North of England (bar Armagh in Northern Ireland). At the other end of this table, we have the following:

Postal town

County

Average
price
in 1988
(£)

Average
price
in 2005
(£)

Increase
(%)

Clacton-on-Sea

Essex

68,615

153,572

124

Eastbourne

East Sussex

75,666

168,292

122

Great Yarmouth

Norfolk

57,554

127,766

122

Wellingborough

Northants

62,534

138,374

121

Hemel Hempstead

Herts

91,699

200,588

119

Basildon

Essex

74,424

159,281

114

Dover

Kent

69,792

149,056

114

Stevenage

Herts

82,722

174,744

111

Aldershot

Hampshire

90,064

183,684

104

Wickford

Essex

88,495

176,624

100

Thus, in percentage terms, the losers in the recent house-price boom are located in the South and East of England, with coastal towns featuring heavily in this category.

So, there you have it: a guide to the winners and losers in terms of house prices since 1988. Of course, these figures tell us nothing about what will happen to house prices in the future, so don't read too much into them!

Still, I'm fortunate enough to have bought a house in one of these boom areas in 1992, which I sold for a profit of more than 250% in 2005. However, these days, as a "sell to renter", I've leapt off the housing ladder, because I expect house prices to fall in the coming years, so be warned!

More: Use lovemoney to compare mortgages, compare home insurance and compare savings accounts!

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