House prices analysis: towns and cities in focus

House prices analyst Kate Faulkner OBE takes a close look at house price movements in our towns and cities, according to the latest leading indices.

Kate Faulkner cities and towns focus

What’s amazing when you look at property price data is the huge differences between regions, but that within those regions, the towns and cities also perform at different rates.

Over time, out of the 30 cities we track, since 2005, property prices have only risen above the average annual 3.8% inflation rate in only seven cities/towns. These include:

• Manchester
• Bristol
• Cambridge
• Oxford
• Brighton and Hove
• London
• Edinburgh

Milton Keynes property prices are on a par with the average annual rate of inflation.

All the remaining towns and cities have seen their average property prices grow at less than inflation – which is not something anyone would realise if they took their understanding of property prices trends from the media.

The following towns and cities price growth ‘on average’ are performing well below inflation:

• Newcastle
• Belfast
• Aberdeen
• Southampton
• Nottingham

Price growth charts according to Land Registry and Hometrack

From a year on year basis, Edinburgh, Manchester and Oxford appear to be performing well historically and also year on year. Meanwhile Brighton and Hove appears to have lost some of its historic steam, along with Cambridge and London.

house price table

E.surv commentary
“In December 2023, only 11 of the 111 Unitary Authority areas in England and Wales were recording house price gains over the previous twelve months, which is 8 fewer authorities with price rises over the year than in November 2023.
“The area with the highest annual increase in prices in December 2023 is Gwynedd in Wales, up by 6.4%. In Gwynedd, prices for both detached and semi-detached homes have increased over the last twelve months, with the most significant increase on a weight-adjusted basis being detached properties, up from an average £345k in December 2022 to £370k one year later.

“By way of contrast, the area with the largest fall in prices over the last twelve months was – perhaps ironically given its proximity to Gwynedd – Denbighshire. In Denbighshire, prices have fallen by 16.1% over the year, with the largest fall in average values being detached properties, down from an average £310k in December 2022 to £245k in December 2023. However, it is perhaps likely that this had more to do with the attributes of the individual houses sold in the period, as opposed to a collapse in the housing market.”

house price table

Appendix: City/town property indices price tracking

For city/town tracking, we use Land Registry (government data) and Zoopla/Hometrack. The Land Registry data is useful because we can analyse how property prices have changed over time and this helps us to put today’s price information into context.

The Zoopla/Hometrack data is useful as they take into account the change in mix of property transactions during the pandemic to houses away from flats. This has meant the likes of the Land Registry and other indices have over exaggerated price changes year on year.

What's your opinion?

Back to top button