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Widnes crowned 'UK's number one property hotspot'

10 October 2003
Widnes in Cheshire has been named the UK's number one property hotspot by the Halifax bank.

Over the past year property prices in the industrial town have risen by a massive 68 per cent, Halifax claims.

House price rises in the north of England and Scotland are narrowing the gap with the south.

House prices in Wales have also boomed over the last year, with average increases of 31.9 per cent and four Welsh towns feature in the top ten property hotspots.

In contrast, London has experienced less than ten per cent annual growth for the first time since 2001. The difference between the average UK property price and London has fallen by £5,600.

Prices in Scotland and the North have seen large rises, closing the property price gap between north and south.

None of the top ten UK property hotspots are in the south of England.

Martin Ellis, Halifax's chief economist, said: "More favourable housing affordability and encouraging labour market trends in the north should cause the gap to narrow further during the coming few quarters."

Top ten UK property hotspots

1. Widnes, Cheshire
2. Barry, South Glamorgan
3. St Helens, Merseyside
4. Swansea, West Glamorgan
5. Billingham, Cleveland
6. Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan
7. Rochdale, Lancashire
8. Shipley, West Yorkshire
9. Cwmbran, Gwent
10. Kilmarnock, Strathclyde