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."

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