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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 25 January, 2003, 06:15 GMT
House prices up 300% over 20 years
Estate Agent signs
Bricks and mortar remain a good place to put money
House prices have soared 306% during the past 20 years, figures released on Saturday show.

The figures - from the Halifax - also show that despite all the talk of hotspots, negative equity and ripple effects, the most expensive and the cheapest towns have not changed in that time.

Halifax, the UK's biggest mortgage lender, said the cost of the average home had risen from just 29,993 in 1983 when it first started its house price index, to 121,742 at the end of last year.

The biggest price increases were seen in Greater London, where the cost of a home shot ahead by 456%.

The 10 highest priced towns in 2002:

  • 1. Esher, Surrey, 416,328
  • 2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, 388,105
  • 3. Gerrards Cross, Bucks, 363,661
  • 4. Richmond, Surrey, 349,480
  • 5. Weybridge, Surrey, 347,915
  • 6. Chislehurst, Kent, 343,690
  • 7. Harpenden, Herts, 338,033
  • 8. Northwood, Middlesex, 337,931
  • 9. Teddington, Middlesex, 337,561
  • 10. Marlow, Bucks, 318,330
The smallest rises were in Scotland, where property prices have slipped to be just 59% of the UK average from 93% two decades ago.

The most expensive and cheapest houses today are in the same places as during the peak of the housing boom in 1988.

Residential property is a very good long-term investment by any standard

Halifax
Top of the pile is Esher in Surrey, stockbroker belt, where the average price in 2002 was more than 400,000.

In contrast, for a tenth of that, homeowners could buy a home in the Welsh town of Abertillery.

There has been little change in the top most expensive areas to live, with eight of the 10 in 2002 also making the list in 1988.

The biggest price gains have occurred in Lymm in Cheshire, where prices have soared by 301% since 1988, followed by Brentford in Greater London at 246%.

The 10 lowest priced towns in 2002:

  • 634. Bootle, Merseyside 54,954
  • 635. Ashington, Northumberland 54,564
  • 636. Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taff 54,196
  • 637. Nelson, Lancashire 52,135
  • 638. Irvine, Ayrshire 51,915
  • 639. Stanley, County Durham 51,857
  • 640. Hebburn, Tyne-and-Wear 49,930
  • 641. Peterlee, County Durham 49,149
  • 642. Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil 48,597
  • 643. Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent 37,872
Corby in Northamptonshire had the weakest performance during the period with price edging up by just 40%, while in Irvine in Scotland they crept ahead by 46%.

Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist, said the housing market was one of the UK's "main success stories" over the last 20 years.

"A very significant increase in the number of people owning their own homes has been matched by substantial gains in house prices," he said.

"Residential property is a very good long-term investment by any standard."


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25 Jan 03 | Scotland
19 Dec 02 | Business
16 Dec 02 | Business
20 Nov 02 | Business
20 Nov 02 | Business
11 Dec 02 | Business
20 Jan 03 | Business
31 Dec 02 | Business
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