UK house price rise hotspots revealed

Merthyr Tydfil and Kensington and Chelsea are among the places showing the weakest house price growth during 2015 - while Newham in London has been declared this year's "winner" after seeing a 22% jump in property values.

The report, compiled by Halifax and based on its own housing statistics database, looked at how house prices have held up in major towns and cities across the UK as well as those in London boroughs in 2015.

Kensington and Chelsea sat with Merthyr Tydfil on Halifax's list of the 10 weakest price performers - although house prices in the London borough have still increased by more than £8,000 during 2015, while in Merthyr they have fallen by more than £4,000 on average.

The average home in Kensington and Chelsea is worth a hefty £807,407 - but average prices there have edged up by just 1% over the last year.

%VIRTUAL-ArticleSidebar-property-guide%Across the UK generally, house prices have leapt by 10.1% over the last year as the property market recovery has spread, with the average home now worth around £230,672.

However, there have been signs of some of the steam coming out of the central London property market, as buyers look further afield for value.

Recent stamp duty changes have made the tax cheaper for the vast majority of home buyers, but the changes have also made the tax more expensive for people buying homes at the very top end of the market.

Halifax said that property values in Newham in 2015 stood at £319,522 on average, marking a 22% or £58,000 jump compared with 2014 and making it the UK's best house price performer this year.

London and the South East filled out the top 10 house price performers list, with Royston in Hertfordshire in second place. Property values in Royston have increased by 19% over the last year, reaching £357,049 on average.

The Greater London boroughs of Redbridge, Enfield, Croydon and Bexley also made the top 10, as did Leigh On Sea, Dartford, Rochester and Abingdon in the South East.

Stroud in Gloucestershire, Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and Solihull in the West Midlands were the top performers outside London and the South East, recording price rises of between 14% and 15% over the past year

Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales was named as the weakest house price performer, with property values there having fallen by 3.8% over the last year, taking the typical house price there to £103,983.

Colwyn Bay in North Wales has seen the next biggest house price fall over the last year, with prices dipping by 2.3% to reach £148,272 on average.

In Durham in the North East of England, property values have edged down by 2.1% over 2015, taking them to £134,335 on average and putting the city in third place on the list of the weakest performers.

Coalville in the East Midlands, Accrington in the North West of England and Poole and Newton Abbot in the South West of England were also on the weakest performers list.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: "Those areas that have seen the biggest house price increases over the past year are either in outer London or within close commuting distance of the capital.

"Demand in these areas has risen as rapid house price rises in central London in the past few years have caused increasing numbers of people to look for property in more affordable areas.

"A few towns have experienced modest price falls. These areas are typically still suffering from relatively weak employment and economic conditions, which has dampened local housing demand."

10 PHOTOS
Most viewed properties of 2015
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UK house price rise hotspots revealed

The tenth most viewed property of the year on Zoopla, was this beauty in Penrith.

It went on the market in August for just £100,000, and the low price and the opportunity for transformation drew in thousands of people looking for a potential project.

This lovely home was the ninth most popular property of the view. Potential viewers were drawn by the opportunity to buy a five-bedroom detached property, complete with a garage and a drive, for just £187,950.

The eighth most viewed property was another relatively new, detached property, with a garage.

This home also boasts four bedrooms for just £197,950

Seventh place is impressive for a property that only hit the market in November.

It's another relatively new detached property with a garage, at the rock-bottom price - of £180,000

The cheapest home in the top ten comes in at number 6. For just £40,000 you get three bedrooms and a garage in Liverpool.

It's no wonder that so many people, who have been squeezed by soaring property prices, are keen to view a property that offers a glimpse of hope.

In fifth place is the first of two mega-expensive homes on the list - and by far the most unusual. This one, in Newport, south Wales, hit the market in February for £1,899 950.

The 1720s hunting lodge and tower had been transformed during an episode of Grand Designs in 2009 - by a couple who added a dramatic glass extension. Thousands of us couldn't resist having a look around.

This swanky new-ish property in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, made number four, despite only going on the market in October.

It ticks all the boxes that have put so many of these properties on the list - being detached, and offering five bedrooms plus a garage.

The price reflects the fact it offers all that - in one of the priciest parts of the country. It makes it the most expensive property in the top ten.

A detached property in Bradford, offering three bedrooms for just £149,950 made it to number three.

It's perhaps unsurprising that it attracted so much interest, because it's one of the cheapest properties in the top ten, and the many thousands of viewers must have been astonished they could get so much family home for their money.

The joint-second cheapest property on the list is the second most viewed property in the country.

It benefited from the fact that it went on the market at the end of 2014, so had plenty of time to attract viewers. However, the appeal of a detached, 3-bedroom house for just £100,000 drew viewers in their thousands.

The number one most viewed property in 2015 was this 6-bedroom farmhouse in County Durham.

It demonstrates that we're a nation of dreamers, drawn by the affordable £175,000 price tag - as well as the huge potential of a six-bedroom farmhouse, outbuildings, almost eight acres of land and planning permission for a wind turbine.

It's no wonder s many thousands of us popped online to dream of a cheaper and simpler life in the country.

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