Welsh house prices rocket

12 April 2004
Wales has seen the fastest house prices rises in the UK over the past 12 months, according to new figures.

The Welsh county of Gwynedd saw the steepest rises, with prices up by 57 per cent over the last year, while prices soared 56 per cent in West Glamorgan and thirty per cent in Mid Glamorgan and Dyfed.

Meanwhile, in South East counties Essex, Avon and Berkshire, house prices rose by just three per cent in 12 months. Nine out of the 10 counties with the slowest growth were in the south of England, including Hampshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, which all reported house price increases of just four per cent.

House prices in Greater London rose by 12 per cent in the past 12 months, with the average home now worth £274,121.

The Halifax's new table of house price increases in all 67 counties of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, places Welsh counties in four of the top ten spots.

The report rates Surrey as the UK's most expensive county, despite below-average increases of 15 per cent since the same time last year. The price of an average home in the county is now £339,772.

In the north of England and Scotland average house prices rose above £100,000 for the first time. Houses in Cumbria now cost around 46 per cent more than a year ago, with strong gains also reported in Durham, Cleveland, Dumfries and Galloway and north Humberside.

Commenting on the figures, Martin Ellis, the Halifax's chief economist, said: "We expect the trend of stronger price rises outside southern England to continue during the remainder of 2004, but prices are likely to rise at a slower pace in these regions than over the past year as higher interest rates and the increasing difficulties faced by potential first-time buyers begin to bite."