2014 has been a strange year for house prices. At the beginning of the year, house prices were seemingly set for a record-breaking run, and buyers and sellers were returning to the market in droves. By the summer, however, it was a different story entirely.
Most of the country saw price rises stall as we headed into the autumn, and the last few months have seen them drift up by just a few percentage points. Now commentators are predicting that 2015 is unlikely to see much growth, and that stamp duty reforms are unlikely to breathe life into the market any time soon.
However, some areas have managed to buck the trend, and while caution sets in around them, prices in those areas have continued to rise remarkably.
Using data from Zoopla.co.uk, AOL has identified the ten cities that are bucking the trend most dramatically, and we can reveal the house price winners of 2014.
Property winners of 2014
Property winners of 2014
Average property price £307,821
Much of the growth in Salisbury took place in the first six months of the year, but the second half of the year has seen more robust growth than elsewhere in the country
Relatively high prices in the area reflect the fact it is an attractive city in itself, and on the right side of Wiltshire to benefit from the ripple effect of rising prices in London.
The average property price would get you this detached four-bedroom property a couple of miles from the centre.
Average price £190,10
Newcastle house prices have struggled severely in the downturn, but the beginning of this year saw an impressive bounce back. Since then, rises have tailed off, but the city still posted a 8.97% increase over the year.
Houses remain relatively affordable, so for the average price of around £190,000 you can buy this three bedroom semi-detached house in Langdon Road - just under four miles from the city centre.
Average price £254,338
Stunning rises in the early part of the year offset the tailing off in rises in the past three months.
The growth in the first half of the year was particularly striking, before it tailed off dramatically.
It remains to be seen whether Bristol will post similar rises in 2015. However, at the moment, the average price is marginally under the average for the UK, so for a typical £259,995 you can buy this three bedroom terrace in Bridlington near the city centre.
Average price £380,507
Cambridge led the pack for house price growth at the beginning of the year, even beating rises in London.
Despite slower growth in the second half, it still cracks double digits, which is astonishing. Prices are now far higher than the UK average, and for a typical price of £390,000 you can buy a three bedroom terrace in the centre of town.
Average price £246,569
While house price rises were slowing elsewhere around the country this summer, Aberdeen bucked the trend, and continued to soar. It was only later in the autumn that some of the froth has gone out of this market. Overall the city posted anther year of double-digit growth, but next year’s prospects are less certain.
This has been an astonishing year for house prices in Dundee, which had suffered horribly in the years since the onset of the recession in 2008. The phenomenal growth - particularly in the first half of the year - has been seen as confidence finally returning to the local market.
After years of stagnation, the Edinburgh property market soared this year, with not even the uncertainty of the referendum dampening buyer enthusiasm. It is particularly unusual in that house price growth has continued into the autumn and beyond
A typical £260,000 would buy you a two-bedroom flat in the most sought-after part of Edinburgh - the New Town.
Average price £426,797
The dual attractions of the city itself and the possibility of commuting to London mean that Oxford bucked the trend and carried enormous house price growth into the second half of the year. A slight slowing into the winter may be a sign of things to come - or just a seasonal lull before the market explodes again next spring.
The fact that London leads the charge will come as a surprise to no-one. Despite the fact that growth has slowed and commentators are predicting a tough year for sellers in 2015, the phenomenal growth at the start of the year means that the annual growth still outstrips every other city in the country.
At the moment a typical £600,000 will stretch to this three-bedroom terrace in Streatham.