Luton tops list for house price growth in 2016, Aberdeen hits bottom

Demand has pushed up prices in London's commuter belt

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Luton has been identified as the top-performing town across the UK for house price growth over the last year.

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Property values in Luton have jumped by nearly a fifth (19.4%) over 2016 and are nearly £42,000 higher typically than a year ago, according to Halifax.

House prices in Luton have surged at more than double the 7.5% annual price growth seen across the UK generally over the year. The average house price in Luton is now £256,636, Halifax said.

The 10 areas with the highest house price rises over the last year were all in London or the South East of England, with Barking and Dagenham, Dunstable, Basildon, Tower Hamlets and Watford also on the list.

At the other end of the spectrum, Aberdeen has seen the weakest house price growth over the last year, with prices falling by 6.9% to reach £203,425, the survey of towns and cities found.

Bangor in Northern Ireland, Inverness in Scotland and Blackpool in the North West of England were also identified among the places with the weakest house price growth according to Halifax, which used its own database to make the findings.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: "Most of the areas that have seen the biggest house price rises during 2016 are either within close commuting distance of the capital or in outer London. Demand in these areas has risen as substantial property price rises in central London over the last few years have caused increasing numbers of people to seek property in more affordable areas.

"A few towns have experienced price falls, with the biggest in Aberdeen. On the north east coast of Scotland, it is highly dependent on the North Sea oil and gas sector. The substantial fall in oil prices in the past couple of years has hit the industry hard with adverse impact on demand for homes in the area. Price declines elsewhere have been modest."

Here are the top 10 house price hotspots across the UK, with the average house price in 2016 followed by the annual increase:

1. Luton, South East, £256,636, 19.4%

2. Barking and Dagenham, London, £296,946, 18.6%

3. Dunstable, South East, £253,799, 17.9%

4. Basildon, South East, £258,068, 17.2%

5. Chatham, South East, £237,545, 17.1%

6. Tower Hamlets, London, £411,495, 15.8%

7. Watford, South East, £418,080, 15.3%

8. Basingstoke, South East, £303,541, 15.1%

9. Slough, South East, £390,560, 14.7%

10. Redbridge, London, £365,438, 14.4%

And here are the areas with the weakest house price growth in 2016, with the average house price followed by the annual percentage change:

1. Aberdeen, Scotland, £203,425, minus 6.9%

2. Bangor, Northern Ireland, £154,613, minus 1.7%

3. Falkirk, Scotland, £141,182, minus 1.1%

4. Inverness, Scotland, £180,056, minus 0.9%

5. Blackpool, North West, £123,947, minus 0.5%

6. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, £116,766, minus 0.4%

7. Stockton-on-Tees, North, £152,243, minus 0.1%

8. Liverpool, North West, £156,828, 0.2%

9. Wolverhampton, West Midlands, £173,761, 0.4%

10. Grimsby, Yorkshire and the Humber, £143,141, 0.5%

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