Scottish homeowners see highest price rises

Amanda Jarvis

May 4, 2006

All four towns recording the biggest price rises in the past year are in Scotland; Cupar is top of the list with a 36 per cent price rise over the past year, followed by Lochgelly, Coatbridge, Lanark, Kilwinning and Alexandria, according to the latest regional house price survey from Halifax.

The remaining four towns in the top 10 are Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire, Darwen in Lancashire, Crook in County Durham and Port Talbot in Wales.

The biggest house price rises in the first quarter of 2006 were in Wales (4.5 per cent), East Anglia (3.4 per cent) and East Midlands (3 per cent). The rises in East Anglia and East Midlands were the strongest seen in these regions for the last eighteen months.

The North was the only region to record a house price fall in Quarter 1 (-1.2 per cent). This modest decline needs to be viewed in the context of a 147 per cent rise in the average price in the region over the past five years, says Halifax. The bank does not expect this recent fall to mark the beginning of a downward trend in property prices in the North.

Annual house price inflation in 2006 Quarter 1, was in single digits in all the regions in Britain. The biggest gains in house prices over the past year have been in the North West (9.4 per cent), Yorkshire and the Humber (9.3 per cent) and Wales (8.8 per cent). The smallest increases have been in the South West (1.7 per cent), South East (2.1 per cent) and East Midlands (3.7 per cent).

The annual rate of house price inflation has slowed in all the regions of Britain over the past 12 months, with the exception of Greater London where the increase in the past year (7.2 per cent) outstrips the gain in the preceding 12 months (1.1 per cent).

Commenting on the housing market and the appearance of Scottish towns in the top 10, Martin Ellis, chief economist, said: “The relatively high affordability of property in these towns has made them attractive to buyers as they have hunted for bargains. Another common feature of many of these towns has been their close proximity to major conurbations, making them suitable for commuting to major employment centres

“The UK housing market is set for a period of broad stability during 2006 with house prices forecast to rise by 3 per cent, broadly in line with the predicted rise in retail price inflation. Low, single digit, growth is expected to be the norm across most of the country.”

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