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Scotland and the North dominate in list of UK property price gains over last decade

The House Price Per Square Metre Survey examines the movement in house prices on an average price per square metre basis in 467 UK towns, including 32 London boroughs which have been classified as towns for this research.
It says that average price per square metre is a useful measure for house price comparison, helping to adjust for differences in property size and type across areas.

Six of the top ten towns and all of the top four with the highest house price growth on a per square metre basis over the past ten years are in Scotland. Peterhead has recorded the largest gain in average price per square metre over the past ten years. The Aberdeenshire town has seen an increase of 160% to £1,254 per square meter in 2011 from £481 per square meter in 2001.

Inverurie, another Aberdeenshire town, has experienced the second largest gain in the UK, up 142% since 2001, followed by Montrose with an increase of 135%. The other four towns in the top ten are all in northern England.

The majority of towns that have seen the highest price growth over the past decade had relatively low prices in 2001. Strong economic growth over the decade as a whole has also helped to drive up prices in many of those areas that have seen substantial price gains. This is apparent in several towns in Aberdeenshire where the economy has been stimulated by the strong performance of the oil sector.

Ten towns with the smallest rises since 2001 are all in Northern Ireland and southern England. House prices in Belfast, up 25%, and Lisburn, up 31%, have increased the least on a per square metre basis since 2001. Four of the ten towns with the smallest gains are in Northern Ireland with the remainder all in southern England. The majority of towns recording the smallest rises over the decade had relatively high prices in 2001.

The average price per square metre is currently higher than in 2007 in only 12 areas in the UK. Epping has seen the biggest rise over this period of 12%) The two best performers over the last decade as a whole have also seen increases since 2007 with Peterhead at7% and Inverurie at 10%. There are five London boroughs amongst these 12 areas where prices are currently higher than in 2007, including Westminster, up 5%, and Islington, up 4%, reflecting the general outperformance of the London market compared with the rest of the country in the past two years.