HOUSE PRICES: Only six towns have beaten inflation since 2005

House price analyst, Kate Faulkner OBE, reveals some realities behind the rhetoric around house price growth in our towns and cities.


Aerial view of town

Just six towns and cities have seen property price growth above the average annual 3.8% inflation rate since 2005.

While much of the property price rhetoric suggests that prices double every 10 years, only Manchester, Bristol, Cambridge, London, Brighton and Hove and Edinburgh have seen house prices rise more than inflation.

The rest of the 30 cities we track have seen house price increases less than inflation with Newcastle, Belfast, Aberdeen, Southampton and Lincoln performing the worst.

In property, when you measure the market from and to in terms of dates can result in some very misleading information. According to the Land Registry, prices are up by 4.6% in Newcastle Upton Tyne and down by as much as 11.3% in Tunbridge Wells. Again, showing that country and even regional averages aren’t reflective of what’s happening to prices for individual buyers, sellers and home owners.

Top of the charts according to Land Registry and Hometrack

While Belfast and Edinburgh make the top 5 list for both data sources, the year-on-year figures differ significantly. Similarly, only Southampton makes it to both lists for lowest performers, with four out of five of Hometrack’s biggest house price declines being along the South coast.

towns and cities house price

e.surv Commentary

“In January 2024, only 9 of the 111 Unitary Authority areas in England and Wales were recording house price gains over the previous twelve months, which is 2 fewer authorities with price rises over the year than in December 2023.

“The area with the highest annual increase in prices in January 2024, for the second month running, is Gwynedd in North Wales, up by 7.9%. 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 £325k in January 2023 to £375k one year later.

“By way of contrast, the area with the largest fall in prices over the last twelve months was Torfaen, in South Wales, where prices have fallen by -18.3% over the year, with the largest fall in average values being semi-detached properties, down from an average £230k in January 2023 to £190k one year later. However, Torfaen has the 7th lowest property count of the 111 Unitary Authorities in England and Wales, so movement in its average prices, when expressed in percentage terms, tends to be more volatile than most other areas.”

property prices towns and cities march 2024

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.

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