With major question marks over the health of the UK economy, all eyes remain on the UK housing market - a key barometer of the nation’s economic health.
According to the latest figures released in May, average house prices fell in March - although they are still rising compared to a year ago, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show. Prices had reached an all-time high in November last year, but have fallen by over £7,500 since then.
The average rate of annual house price growth has also slid back from 5.8% in February to 4.1% in March . Many experts, including lenders and estate agencies, have been predicting a house price slowdown in 2023. But recent analyses from Rightmove and Zoopla have shown moderate monthly growth in house prices, which suggest the housing market is merely returning to where it was before the Covid pandemic – although Zoopla has warned recent mortgage market turmoil could turn price rises into falls.
It comes in the wake of the financial turmoil caused by the Liz Truss mini budget in September 2022. With her inflationary policies forcing the Bank of England to accelerate its interest rate hikes, mortgage rates soared to highs not seen in more than a decade at the same time as the UK household budgets were being squeezed considerably by the broader cost of living crisis. Mortgage costs were easing over the first few months of 2023 but have begun to climb again after worse-than expected inflation in the UK economy led markets to price in further Bank of England interest rate hikes.
Every month, the ONS publishes an analysis of UK house prices. It tends to lag two months behind the ones produced by Halifax, Nationwide, Rightmove and Zoopla, but offers a more comprehensive view of what was happening in the housing market at a given moment in time (we have also rounded up all you need to know about how each house price index compares). The ONS data – which comes from HM Land Registry – includes all house sales, and measures price paid rather than mortgage payouts or asking prices.
So, what did this index show was happening in March 2023 (the latest month for which we have data) - and what’s been happening to house prices in your area? Below NationalWorld has prepared three charts showing you how prices have changed in each local authority area.
- The first allows you to see a breakdown of how property values have shifted over the past year.
- The second graph gives you an area-by-area picture of average prices for homes going back to 2003.
- And the third shows typical values for different types of housing in your area stretching back to 2018.
Which areas have seen house prices rise - and fall - by the most?
According to the ONS, the average UK house price was £285,000 in March 2023 - 4.1% (£11,200) higher than in the same month in 2022, but £3,400 below the £288,400 recorded in February and more than £7,500 lower than the all-time high of almost £292,600 seen in November 2022.
But the overall figures mask a widely varied picture at a local level. Some council areas recorded double-digit hikes to average property values year-on-year, while others saw values decline.
Homes in Fylde in Lancashire saw average prices soar 14.3% (£30,900) in the 12 months to March 2023. At the same time, several London boroughs saw big reversals, including City of Westminster (-17.4%), Kensington and Chelsea (-10.2%), and Islington (-4.4%). But prices in these areas still remain well above the UK average.
Parts of Wales and Scotland also saw big decreases – prices in Aberdeen were down 6.9%, in Gwynedd down 3.8% and Ceredigion down 3.4%.
You can search for your local authority area in the table below to find out how prices have fared in your area over the last month and year. Can’t see the table? You can view it on the Flourish website here.
How have house prices changed where you live since 2003?
Property prices have generally been on the rise over the last two decades. But these growth arcs have varied depending on where the local authority is located in the UK.
And while some areas have never recovered from the 2008 financial crash, others have seen property prices boom.
In Derry City and Strabane - the cheapest area on average in Northern Ireland in which to buy a home - average property values almost doubled from £94,944 to £180,450 between January 2005 and July 2007. But they then fell 55% over the next five years to a low of £82,705, and have only recovered to £148,548 in the years since (prices went as high as £155,140 last year but have since fallen).
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But in Cambridge, which is one of the most expensive areas outside of London and the South East, average house prices reached a pre-crash peak of £283,241 in December 2007. After a £59,000 drop to a low of £224,469 in March 2009, the years since the last recession have seen prices soar 121% to £496,786 – although again, prices have fallen back from the £537,052 recorded in November.
The chart below will show you how property prices have changed over the last 20 years in your area. Can’t see the graph? You can view the chart on the Flourish website here.
How are prices holding up for different types of property?
There are major differences between how much certain types of property cost in different parts of the country. A typical first-time buyer’s (FTBs) home in Kensington and Chelsea (the most expensive local authority area for FTBs) is almost 13 times the average FTB property in Inverclyde (the cheapest) at £1.13 million compared to £89,500.
Indeed, Scotland is likely to be the happiest hunting ground for first-timers, with 10 out of the 20 cheapest FTB local authority areas found north of the border. But say these first-time buyers wish to upsize to a semi-detached, they are more likely to find joy in the North West or North East of England, where 9 of the 20 cheapest local authority areas are found.
The chart below shows prices for different types of property in your area over the last five years. Can’t see the chart? You can view the graph on the Flourish website here.