Areas with the biggest house price growth of 2021 have seen the value of homes rise by three times the national average, according to the latest data from Halifax.
Taunton in Somerset saw house prices grow by the fastest rate (21.8%) over the course of the last year, compared to an average of 6.2% nationwide. In cash terms prices in Taunton rose by £56,546 to £315,759.
With its good links to the M4 and rural surroundings, the Wiltshire town of Chippenham also benefited from the ‘race for space’ amongst buyers, with the biggest increase in house prices in cash terms. Prices there rose from £322,859 in 2020 to £381,181, an increase of £58,322 (18.1%).
Rising house prices were not limited to the south. In fact just five of the top 20 biggest rises happened in towns across the South East and South West. The remaining 15 were spread across the Midlands, Wales, North of England and Scotland. No areas within Greater London appeared in the top 20.
The area of London with the highest growth was Enfield. Here prices grew by 6.8% (2020: £479,745 v 2021: £512,135), marginally ahead of Harrow, where prices rose 6.7% (2020: £531,708 v 2021: £567,501).
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “As the county town of Somerset, this year’s house prince winner, Taunton, has a lot to offer homebuyers with its high quality of life and great transport links to major towns and cities across the South West.
“Like Taunton, many of the areas that saw the biggest house price growth over the last year enjoy a combination of greater affordability and space compared to nearby cities.
Places like Bolton, Newark, Bradford and Hamilton – where there are a broad range of property types and settings – all offer significantly better value than their more metropolitan neighbours.”
“This is perhaps most clearly shown in the UK’s capital. It is rare that no London boroughs appear amongst the areas of highest house price growth but that is the case in 2021.
This shift echoes what we have seen from home buyers over the last year – less focus on major cities and more demand in the suburbs and further afield.”
Rise of the North
The top 20 areas for house price growth includes four from the North West (Rochdale, Widnes, Bolton, and Wirral), three from Yorkshire and the Humber (Bradford, Scunthorpe, and Doncaster) and two from Scotland (Motherwell and Hamilton). A further six are from the Midlands and Wales.
This spread contrasts with 2020, where 11 of the areas with the greatest growth were in London and the South.
Wales saw the greatest rate of house price growth across any UK region, with the value of homes rising by 14% on average (2020: £202,680 v 2021: £231,134). This was well ahead of those in second and third place, Yorkshire and Humber and East Anglia, where gains of just over 10% were been made over the past 12 months. On average, almost every region from the Midlands up toScotland saw house prices increase by the UK average or more during the last year.
Scotland achieved average growth of 8.8%, with prices rising by £16,761 to £207,778. Motherwell saw the highest growth with 17.3% (£177,118, +£26,103), ahead of Hamilton at 13.7% (£159,176, +£19,225), and Dumfries on 13.6% (£175,002, +£20,982).
Like the rest of the UK, while the major cities saw growth, in most instances it was at a rate below the Scottish average. Only Dundee (11.3%) had an above regional average increase, with Aberdeen (8.4%), Glasgow (7.1%), and Edinburgh (7.0%) all falling short of Scotland-wide gains.
At the other end of the country, the capital experienced a largely flat year for house prices. Greater London saw average prices fall marginally, from £558,272 to £554,684 (-0.6%). The picture across individual boroughs was mixed; Enfield and Harrow were the only two areas with growth beyond the UK average. Westminster saw the greatest fall of any area of the country, down by 6.9%.