New research from Halifax shows that boroughs in London continue to dominate the country's list of most expensive places for property on a per square metre basis. There are, however, pockets outside Southern England where property fetches a high price per square metre, including Altrincham in Cheshire, a number of towns in Warwickshire and the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
There has been a marked widening in property prices per square metre between southern England and the rest of Britain since 1995. Prices per square metre have risen by 388% in Great London compared with a national increase of 227%.
MOST EXPENSIVE AREAS
The Made in Chelsea borough of Kensington & Chelsea is Britain's most expensive area with an average price of £11,635 per m2 – nearly six times the national average of £2,033. The borough is the only area in Britain with an average price above £10,000 per m2 with Westminster having the next highest prices at £9,571 per m2. Sixteen areas – all in Greater London - have an average price in excess of £5,000 per m2 which is four more than last year. (Table 1)
Outside southern England*, Altrincham in Cheshire remains the most expensive town with an average price of £2,446 per m2. Altrincham is followed by a cluster of towns in the West Midlands: Solihull (£2,367), Warwick (£2,363) and Leamington Spa (£2,353). The Scottish cities of Edinburgh (£2,297) and Aberdeen (£2,281) are the next most expensive areas outside southern England. (Table 2)
LEAST EXPENSIVE AREA
Five of the towns surveyed have an average price below £1,000 per m2 – less than half the average for Great Britain. Aberdare in south Wales has the lowest average price, at £910 per m². This is less than one tenth of the average price per square metre in Kensington & Chelsea.
All ten of the towns with the lowest prices per square metre are outside the south of England*. Four of the ten towns with the lowest average price per square metre are in Scotland: Wishaw (£926), Airdrie (£998), Greenock (£1,004) and Coatbridge (£1,004). Three are in Wales: Merthyr Tydfil (£967) and Neath (£1,005) in addition to Aberdare. The three English towns with the lowest home prices on a per square metre basis are Accrington (£990), Scunthorpe (£1,022) and Blackpool (£1,052). (Table 3)
PRICE CHANGES 2010-2015
The ten areas recording the highest house price growth on a per square metre basis over the last five years are all London boroughs. Hackney (71%) recorded the biggest increase over the five year period closely followed by Southwark (70%). (Table 4)
Nationally, house prices per square metre have risen by 18% since 2010 from an average of £1,719 to £2,033 in 2015 with increases across all regions. Greater London has experienced substantially faster growth than elsewhere in Britain with an average increase of 45%. The South East (22%) recorded the next biggest rise. Price increases have been much more modest in many other parts of the country with the smallest rises in the North (3%) and Scotland (5%). (Table 5)
PRICE CHANGES 1995-2015
The average price per square metre across Britain has increased by 227% over the past 20 years from £621 in 1995 to £2,033 in 2015. This national figure, however, conceals considerable regional differences. In particular, there has been a marked widening in the north / south property divide since 1995. Prices per square metre have risen by 388% over this period in Greater London; more than twice the increases in northern England, Scotland, Wales and the Midlands. (Table 6)
All ten areas that have seen the biggest increases in price per square metre over the last 20 years are in London. Over the past five years, Hackney has seen the largest rise since 1995 with an increase of 773% - twice the London average. (Table 7)
Only five towns outside southern England have recorded price gains per square metre in excess of the Great Britain average since 1995: Sale, near Manchester, (251%), Harrogate (242%), Leamington Spa (241%), Rushden in Northamptonshire (237%) and Northampton (236%). (Table 8)
Craig McKinlay, Mortgages Director, Halifax, said: "House price per square metre is a useful measure for house price comparison because it helps to adjust for differences in the size and type of properties between locations.
“Parts of central London are substantially more expensive than anywhere else in the country. Nonetheless, there are a number of notable pockets outside the south of England where property prices are also high price per square metre. There has been a clear widening in the gap between southern England, particularly London, and the rest of the country over the past 20 years – a trend that has continued during the last five years."