The annual Halifax County House Price Survey has revealed particularly high price increases in Northern Ireland over the last ten years, with five counties from the region making the top ten for most significant growth.
County Armagh demonstrated the fastest rise in house prices, with the average price up 331 per cent to £220,229. Prices across Northern Ireland have been supported by strong economic growth, increased immigration and high demand for properties from second homebuyers and buy-to-let investors in the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland was the most expensive region in the UK outside London and the south east at the end of 2007.
Prices in 44 of the 104 counties surveyed have at least trebled in the past decade. The best performing county in England was Cornwall (up 266 per cent), followed by the Isle of Wight (up 245 per cent).
However, "the counties recording the best house price performance over the past ten years have mainly been outside southern England," explains chief economist, Martin Ellis. While ten years ago there were no counties with an average price above £150,000, 20 counties now fall into this category. Moreover, 12 counties have an average price of more than £250,000.
While Surrey continues to be the most expensive county for property with an average house price of £364,115, Blaenau Gwent is the least expensive with an average price of just £113,964. There was no change from the eight most expensive counties recorded in 2007; however, East Sussex and County Down featured in the top ten most expensive list for the first time. North Lanarkshire was the only county to reveal an average price rise of less than 150 per cent.
The areas with the highest averages in 2007 outside southern England were County Down (£253,734), East Renfrewshire (£229,950), Monmouthshire (£229,034) and Edinburgh (£228,051).
Eight of the ten counties recording the lowest average house price gains over the past ten years were in Scotland, with another in Wales and one in the West Midlands. Furthermore, five of the ten least expensive counties in 2007 were in Scotland, while four were in Wales and one was in Yorkshire and the Humber. By contrast, seven of the least expensive areas were in Wales, two were in Scotland and one was in Northern Ireland in 1997.
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