Cornwall and Greater Manchester are the counties that have seen the biggest rise in house prices in England since early 2019, according to an exclusive analysis for This is Money.
Property values in each are up 36 percent, fueled by a pandemic boom, the data shows.
The median house price in Greater Manchester is now £232,170, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, analyzed by estate agent Hamptons.
In Cornwall, the average house is worth £315,280 – close to the national house price average of £307,400.
Cornish creamin’ it: House prices in the county are up 36% since 2019 and 5.5% over the last year
The data looked at house prices across England by county, revealing the areas with the most property value growth.
Isaac Odegbami, research analyst at Hamptons, said: ‘The race for space has been the main driver of price growth in Cornwall in recent years.
“And as the self-proclaimed capital of the north, Manchester has closed the gap faster than almost anywhere else, bolstered by a gold rush that transformed parts of the city center into ‘Dubai on Deansgate.'”
At the other end of the scale, Greater London has seen the lowest growth of any county, with prices rising by 14 per cent over the past four years, bringing the average house price to £530,460.
However, despite slow growth, detached houses in London are the only real estate group where the average price exceeds the £1 million mark at £1,090,210.
Property prices in the home countries fared better on the outskirts of the capital.
But of the ten counties that surround London, including East and West Sussex, none have seen house prices rise by more than 29 per cent since before the pandemic – meaning none of them are on the list.
Hertfordshire saw the lowest growth of the group at 18 per cent, bringing the median house price in the county to £463,990.
|District||Region||Price average Q1 2023||Compared to Q1 2019|
|Great Manchester||North West||£232,170||36%|
|Isle of Wight||Southeast||£292,510||34%|
|Mersey side||North West||£193,540||33%|
|South Yorkshire||Yorkshire and the Humber||£187,570||32%|
|West Yorkshire||Yorkshire and the Humber||£203,400||30%|
|Norfolk||East of England||£295,440||29%|
|North Yorkshire||Yorkshire and the Humber||£281,450||29%|
|Lincolnshire||Yorkshire and the Humber||£236,350||28%|
|West Midlands||West Midlands||£234,970||28%|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||Yorkshire and the Humber||£223,940||26%|
|Suffolk||East of England||£305,250||26%|
|Durham (County Durham)||North West||£155,570||25%|
|Tyne and wear||Northeast||£172,040||24%|
|Cambridgeshire||East of England||£360,210||24%|
|Bedfordshire||East of England||£340,230||22%|
|Essex||East of England||£379,810||22%|
|Hertfordshire||East of England||£463,990||18%|
North-South gap in house prices narrowing
In addition to highlighting individual provinces, the data reveals the gap between properties that persist in the north and south of the country, with property prices following different trends in each half.
The list of counties cheaper than the national average included all three northernmost regions; North East, North West and Yorkshire & the Humber.
In addition, almost all Midlands counties are also cheaper than the national average, with the exception of Warwickshire and Rutland.
However, in recent years these provinces have risen faster than those in the South in terms of price growth.
As of 2019, the more affordable counties have a 30 percent price increase and the more expensive counties have a 24 percent price increase.
Both Lancashire and South Yorkshire are in the top five most affordable places to buy in the country, with average prices of £189,300 and £187,570 respectively, despite house prices rising by 32 per cent since 2019.
Unlike Surrey, where the average house price is £529,000 – the second highest outside London – property values have risen by 20 per cent over that period.
House price rise: The biggest winners over the past four years have been Derbyshire and Chesire
Mr Odegbami added: ‘With the house price cycle drawing to a close, we are now well past the point where house prices in the North and Midlands are starting to close the gap with London and the South East.
In 2016, when price growth peaked in the south, an average house in London cost 221 per cent more than a house in Greater Manchester. Today that difference has shrunk to 128 percent.’
With regard to Cornwall, Mr Odegbami says working from home has been a key driver of price growth.
He says: ‘As home to some of the most desirable holiday destinations in the country, the advent of working from home has attracted many movers to make Cornwall their permanent home.
While in 2019 the average house in London cost more than double (+102 per cent) than in Cornwall, the extra space generally offered by houses in this most south-westerly corner and the recent premium these have received has led to led to the price gap being closed to 68 percent.’
Price changes in the past year
Over the past year, price growth across England has slowed significantly compared to the entire period since 2019.
On average, house prices in England have risen by 26 percent between 2019 and 2023, but by 5.6 percent in the past 12 months.
Only the county of Derbyshire saw house prices rise by double digits from the first quarter of 2022 to the same period this year.
Prices rose by 10.2 per cent over the 12 months, with the average house now worth £237,290.
Once again, London experienced the least growth of any county in England, with prices rising by 2.7 per cent over the period.
Despite a 9.2 per cent price increase since the first three months of 2022, Durham has the cheapest average house price in England at £155,570.
County Durham has the most affordable housing in England with an average price of £155,570
What will happen to house prices after that?
Continued mortgage interest volatility could take its toll on real estate prices.
Property values fell 3.4 percent a year in May, according to Nationwide — the biggest decline since 2009.
But other indexes reported smaller cuts, with Halifax saying prices were falling 1 percent annually.
This is Money spoke to two experts who know the market inside out: Rob Dix, co-founder of the real estate forum, Property Hub, and Charlie Lamdin, founder of real estate website BestAgent to hear their thoughts.
Lamdin believes the impact of higher interest rates is only just beginning to show in the data. He predicts that prices will fall by 35 percent over a three-year period.
Dix is more optimistic about prices, believing that we are likely to see only a small dip in the near term, due to a drop in the number of people buying and selling.
What to do if you need a mortgage
Borrowers who need to find a mortgage because their current fixed-rate contract is about to expire, or because they have agreed on a home purchase, should explore their options as soon as possible.
This is Money’s best mortgage interest calculator powered by L&C that can show you deals that match your mortgage and property value
What if I have to borrow again?
Borrowers should compare rates and speak with a mortgage broker and be prepared to trade to secure a rate.
Anyone with a fixed-rate deal expiring in the next six to nine months should research how much it would cost them to re-mortgage now — and consider getting a new deal.
Most mortgage agreements allow fees to be added to the loan and are not charged until it is closed. By doing this, borrowers can secure a rate without paying expensive arrangement fees.
What if I buy a house?
Those with an agreed home purchase should also aim to secure rates as soon as possible so they know exactly what their monthly payments will be.
Homebuyers should be careful not to overextend themselves and be prepared for the possibility that house prices could fall from their current highs, due to higher mortgage rates limiting people’s borrowing capacity.
Compare mortgage payments
The best way to compare mortgage rates and find the right deal for you is to talk to a good real estate agent.
You can use our best mortgage interest calculator to display deals that match your home value, mortgage size, term and fixed interest needs.
However, bear in mind that rates can change quickly, so if you need a mortgage it’s advice to compare rates and then speak to an estate agent as soon as possible so they can help you find the right one mortgage for you.
> Check out the best fixed rate mortgages you can apply for
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