The worst places to own a home in the UK
Aberdeen has been named as the worst place in the UK for homeowners, while Cambridge has been revealed as the worst in England, and Hammersmith and Fulham as the worst in London. All three areas have a tremendous amount going for them, so the question is what they did to deserve naming a shaming.
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The good news for the residents of these three areas is that it isn't a question of the quality of life, the attractions of the area, or the desirability of their home: it's purely to do with house prices. They all saw house prices fall dramatically over the previous 12 months.
Figures from online estate agent eMoov.co.uk found that across the whole of the UK, nowhere has been a worse investment for UK homeowners than owning a property in the City of Aberdeen in the past 12 months. Prices have plummeted by 9.81%, a loss of nearly £20,000 from an average of £185,848 last year.
The city has flourished for the past few years on the back of a booming North Sea oil industry - based in the city. Uncertainty around the price of oil, the EU and the UK has led organisations to be more cautious in their hiring practices, and remuneration, so demand for property has dropped, and as a result the value of properties is on the wane.
Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented: "Aberdeen has been rocked by a declining oil industry and a lack of buyer demand so it comes as little surprise that it remains in the doldrums of UK property. I think the SNP's attempt to weaponise the Brexit vote and seek independence so soon after their original referendum has made a rod for Scottish homeowners' backs, by creating a great deal more hesitation and uncertainty in the market than was really necessary."
The second worst-performing area is also in Scotland - in Inverclyde, where prices have also seen a sharp decline of 7.63% in the past year. This is partly because previously new builds were selling well, and pushing the average price up. At the moment, however, there are fewer of them on the market, and the price of older properties is not so buoyant.
Perhaps more surprisingly is the third worst location in the UK for a property investment in the last year. Homeowners in Cambridgeshire have paid the price of an over inflated market, with prices falling by 5.12% in the past year. This is the largest decline of anywhere across England.
As Quirk says: "With an average house price close to rivalling that of the capital, Cambridge is no doubt paying the price for an over inflated market during 2016. As prices spiral beyond affordability, a fall in demand by the average Cambridge homeowner will always result in an annual drop in prices."
In fourth place - and the worst in Wales - is Ceredigion. Wales as a whole has seen a slump in the property market, but has shown signs of recovery towards the back end of 2016. Unfortunately this wasn't enough to comfort homeowners in Ceredigion as prices have fallen by 3.49% in the past year.
London has fared reasonably well over the past 12 months - except for prime areas of the market, where prices have taken a bit of a beating. Hammersmith and Fulham has suffered as some of the posher parts of the borough have seen prices fall. Overall, prices are down 2.1% - making it the worst-performing part of the Capital.
By contrast, the study found that overall house prices have fared well. Across the United Kingdom it found that the average property price is now £204,919 - and is up 7.41% over the past 12 months. England has generally performed better than Scotland and Wales - and has seen rises of 7.5% in that time.
The top 10 worst performers:
City of Aberdeen -9.81%
Hammersmith & Fulham -2.1%
North Ayrshire -2.03%
Merthyr Tydfil -1.51%
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