Home is where the cash is for the North West

28 December 2019

• North West takes eight of the 10 top spots for house price increases during 2019

• Billingham, in County Durham, takes first place with an increase of 12.3%

• Harrow, in Greater London, has the largest fall at 3.6%

Homeowners in the north of England have benefited from the biggest house price increases over the last year, according to the latest research from Halifax.

Reversing a historic trend which regularly saw prices rise most rapidly in the south of the country, the North West saw eight of the region’s towns feature in the top 10 of this year’s biggest house price increases.

However, it’s actually County Durham’s Billingham, in the North East, which has seen average house prices grow by the most, from £192,717 in October 2018 to £216,328 in the same month in 2019 – a rise of 12.3%. House prices here, in the birthplace of Billy Elliot actor Jamie Bell, are around eight times that of the average salary (£26,471).

In second place is Ilkeston, Derbyshire, in the East Midlands, where prices have risen by 9.1% - from £249,439 in 2018 to £272,091 this year. The town sits between Derby and Nottingham and has a rich history, appearing in the Domesday Book and boasting Georgian and Baroque architecture.

The remainder of the top ten is taken up exclusively by towns in the North West; Sale, Wilmslow, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Chorley, Bootle and Southport have all seen house prices rise by 6% or more over the last year. On average, house prices in these towns are eight times local salaries.

Russell Galley, Halifax Managing Director: “In an interesting twist, this year’s tables show that the North of the country has witnessed the biggest increases in average house prices, while the South has seen prices dip most significantly. This bucks the trend we’ve seen in recent years and marks a small step towards achieving more balance in average regional house prices.

“While this may be good news for those looking to sell in regions such as the North West, it’s prospective buyers closer to the likes of London who may be hoping that a property purchase is becoming that little bit more affordable.”

Southern falls

The areas playing host to the top 10 greatest declines in house prices over the last year are all in London or the South East.  Harrow in Greater London saw prices decrease by the most, down 3.6% from £273,930 to £263,964.  This was also reflected by the changes seen in Enfield, a North London borough which includes Grovelands Park – a former private estate – Capel Manor gardens and the reportedly haunted Camlet Moat in Trent Country Park, which experienced a drop in house prices of 3.5%. 

Both Harrow and Enfield show a similar relationship between earnings and house prices – with house prices 7.4 and 7.9 times the average annual salary respectively.