Housing market in South English towns outperforms North

HOUSE prices in towns in the South of England have outperformed towns in the rest of the country over the last three years, according to data released today.

Westbury in Wiltshire – famous for the Westbury White Horse – has seen the largest hike in prices, the Halifax will say today. In December 2010, the average house price stood at £206,932 compared to £189,956 in December 2007, a rise of 8.9 per cent.

Houses in Barnstaple, North Devon, were worth an extra 4.2 per cent in December 2010 compared to three years earlier, while houses in St Leonards On Sea in Hastings and Gosport in Hampshire added an average of 3.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively.

House prices in Witney, Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency, added 2.2 per cent over the three-year period.

In contrast, the eight towns that saw the biggest house price falls since 2007 are all in the North. The South Tyneside town of Jarrow saw the steepest declines, where the average house price fell by 31.4 per cent over the period to stand at £95,630.

Meanwhile, more of Britain’s largest cities have become more affordable for home buyers following the housing market slump.

According to Halifax, a buyer with a budget of £250,000 could now buy all property types in half of the 10 biggest cities in Great Britain, compared to two in 2007.

London is the only major British city where the average price of all property types remains above £250,000.