York records strongest house price rises in England and Wales

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In a year of rising interest rates, and with stalling house price growth, it was the cathedral city of York that bucked the trend and recorded the strongest house price rises in England and Wales, new figures reveal.

Over the past year, house prices in the city have grown by 23.1%, or £69,648 on average, according to Halifax.

Since March 2020, the month when the first Covid lockdown started in the UK, the average house price has skyrocketed by 41%, meaning the average property price is now £370,639. But in recent months, house price growth has stalled, with one forecaster predicting a drop in house prices of 8% in 2023.

But there is significant variation depending on where you are in the UK. Woking in Surrey saw the biggest increase of any town or city in cash terms, as prices in the commuter town leapt from £493,299 in 2021 to £586,925 in 2022, an increase of £93,626 (19%).

Meanwhile, the towns and cities with the lowest growth are Leicester (-3.6%), Hull (-2.9%), Maidenhead (-2.2%), Stoke-on-Trent (-1.7%) and Islington (0.4%).

No London borough appeared in the list of high-growth property prices, with house prices in the capital increasing at a slower pace, 7.2%, than all other regions of the UK. But London retains the title of having the most expensive homes in the country, at an average property price of £596,667.

Despite the slow levels of house price growth, new data from Knight Frank indicates the property market in prime London postcodes is proving “resilient”.

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The data shows that the number of exchanges in November in prime London markets was 16.2% higher than the same month in 2021, and 15% higher than the five-year average.

However, the estate agent warned that Kwasi Kwarteng’s ill-fated mini-budget meant that many buyers are still waiting for mortgage rates to come back down.

The number of offers made in November was 16% below the five-year average, reflecting the uncertainty that has arisen from the recent spike in borrowing costs.

Kim Kinnaird, the mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Overall, 2022 was another year of rapid house price growth for most areas in the UK. And unlike many years in the past, the list isn’t dominated by towns and cities in the south-east.

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“Nowhere is that more the case than in York, which saw the highest property price inflation across England and Wales this year, rising by over a fifth. While existing homeowners will welcome the increased value of their home, such a jump makes it much more challenging for those looking to step on to the property ladder or move into the city.

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“While London still has some of the highest property prices in the country, it recorded comparatively modest house price inflation over the past 12 months. This is partly due to pandemic-driven shifts in housing preferences as buyers sought bigger properties further from urban centres.

“We can see this clearly in commuter towns such as Woking, Chelmsford and Hove, which – with their more diverse range of properties perhaps offering better value – recorded much bigger increases over the last year.”

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The best performing places in England and Wales

Here are the Top 10 strongest places for percentage increases in house prices, according to Halifax, with the name of the place followed by the region, the average house price followed by the increase in cash and percentage terms (figures show the change in the 12 months to November 2022):

1. York, Yorkshire and the Humber, £370,639, £69,648, 23.1%

2. Woking, south-east England, £586,925, £93,626, 19.0%

3. Swansea, Wales, £265,379, £39,450, 17.5%

4. Chelmsford, east of England, £485,770, £69,775, 16.8%

5. Kettering, east Midlands, £326,895, £44,731, 15.9%

6. Derby, east Midlands, £277,491, £37,953, 15.8%

7. Wellingborough, east Midlands, £306,985, £41,087, 15.5%

8. Peterborough, east of England, £289,994, £37,599, 14.9%

=9. Bristol, south-west England, £394,126, £50,864, 14.8%

=9. Cambridge, east of England, £531,730, £68,586, 14.8%

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