It’s no secret that house prices have risen fast over the last year or so. But where have they risen the fastest .... and why? Here we’ll reveal the areas with the fastest rising house prices over the last year and try to consider exactly why.

First to look at England. Let’s look at the top five areas for average house price growth outside London based on HM Land Registry figures:

Knowsley is generally thought of as part of the city of Liverpool but Knowsley itself is a separate metropolitan borough. In Knowsley prices rose just over a fifth at 20.2%. That saw average prices here reach approximately £160,800 over the summer. It also made Knowsley the cheapest local authority area to make our top risers list. (Alongside most of the Merseyside area Knowsley has historically been one of the cheaper parts of the country in which to buy a house.)

In the Mendip region in Somerset, which covers places including Frome, Glastonbury and Wells, average house prices rose 20.4% and reached £313,300 over the last year.

Third place for the fastest rising house prices in percentage terms went to Richmondshire in North Yorkshire (not Richmond the London borough). A 20.6% rise took the average price across the town of Richmond and the Richmondshire district to about £259,300.

Wychavon, the local authority area for much of south east Worcestershire, was England’s second top price performing region. In Wychavon prices rose 21.3% to reach around £344,600.

So where have house prices in England risen fastest over the last 12 months?

The top slot for the highest property price rises in England went to Rossendale. Rossendale in Lancashire is a semi-rural area made up of moorland and former mill towns including Bacup, Haslingden and Rawtenstall yet being only around 15 miles from Manchester. Across Rossendale the average house price rose by nearly a quarter (24.6%) to reach just over £182,000.

Now to look specifically at London. Here Tower Hamlets was the capital’s top performer and fourth highest rising for England as a whole. The borough covers what is traditionally thought of as London’s East End but also covers Canary Wharf with its cluster of skyscrapers and financial services businesses. In Tower Hamlets property prices rose 20.5% to reach £556,000.

Now to Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the fastest rising prices to mid-2021 were in the Causeway Coast and Glens local authority area – a very rural area best known for the world famous Giant’s Causeway. Here prices rose around 17% to approximately £171,500 last summer according to the Northern Ireland House Price Index. That makes it the second most expensive place to buy in Northern Ireland.

In Scotland,the Scottish Borders local authority region based around Galashiels and Hawick was the country’s star performer. In the Scottish Borders house prices rose 29.4% over the year to August to reach an average of around £194,500.

This also meant that the Scottish Borders experienced the fastest rising house prices anywhere in the UK.

In Wales, the fastest rising house prices over the last 12 months have been in Pembrokeshire. In Pembrokeshire in the far west of Wales prices roses by almost 24% to reach around £222,500 and bringing them within a shade of the Welsh capital Cardiff.

The property market over the last year has been very far from normal of course. So what if anything can we learn about recent house price rises?

Here a few takeaways:

Most of the top risers were places that were previously pretty good value property areas. None of them were amongst the most expensive places in the country. That tends to suggest that cheaper (by comparison) areas for property have more potential to rise faster when the market is on the up. It also tends to suggest that shrewd house buyers have been looking for (and finding) value.

Most of the top performing areas (with the notable exceptions of Tower Hamlets and Knowsley) are rural or semi-rural. That fits in with the idea of a ‘flight to the country’ and a move for more space which many experts have suggested have been some of the consequences of Covid.

And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the price rises in the fastest rising areas have been massive. The top performing areas have all seen price rises of at least a fifth and up to almost a third in just one year. That’s a huge rise that no one could really have ever anticipated. And a huge amount of extra money for house buyers to find. The top price rises over the last year have been literally extra-ordinary, and almost certainly unsustainable.

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