Average prices in 28% of towns and cities in England and Wales below values a decade ago

While house price growth in England and Wales has been steady in recent year, in some parts of the country values have not recovered from the financial crisis a decade ago, new research shows.

The two worst affected places are Blackpool and Sunderland where average house prices are 15.3% and 13.3% below where they were in 2007, the start of the global economic downturn.

The research from online estate agents HouseSimple also shows that the majority of areas where values are below a decade ago are in the north of England while the biggest rises have been in the South, led by London at 68.5% and Cambridge at 64.5%.

The research compared average house prices in June 2007 and June 2017 in more than 60 major towns and cities in England and Wales. Almost 1.5 million property transactions were completed in 2007 when property prices reached peak levels, just before the financial crisis.

The analysis found that in 28% of those towns and cities, average property prices today are
still below 2007 values. After Blackpool and Sunderland, the next place where prices are well down is Middlesbrough where they are 9.7% lower than a decade ago.

In Preston they are 8.1% below the average in 2007, in Stockton on Tess they are down 5.7%, in Gateshead and Rotherham down 3.8% and in Newport, Wales, some 3.7% below. Other towns and cities where prices are lower include Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, Swansea, Doncaster, Stoke on Trent, Rochdale, Liverpool and Bradford.

At the opposite end of the scale after London and Cambridge, it is Stevenage that has seen the biggest rise with an increase of 58.5%, followed by Slough up 55.9%, Oxford up 55.4%, Luton up 47.5%, Reading up 46.3% and Southend 45.9%.

Other towns and cities with substantial average price rises over the decade include Winchester up 45.5%, Brighton up 45.3%, Milton Keynes up 40.4% and Bristol up 40.3%.

‘The last 10 years has been a golden period for many UK home owners who have sat back and watched the value of their homes rise to record levels. Unfortunately, there are pockets of the UK where property prices have been literally stuck in the past. Many of these home owners will have been in negative equity for a decade,’ said Alex Gosling, the firm’s chief executive officer.

‘It must be galling for anyone who bought a property 10 years ago, at the top of the market, and are sitting in a home that is still worth less today than it was when they bought it pre-2008. Worse still, any hope they have of drawing a line under their misfortune, and moving on, is most likely on pause as selling up would mean losing money. Finding the funds for a house deposit is difficult enough without having to cover losses on a house sale as well,’ he added.

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