Top cities in the UK for house price growth

Posted by Mark Lloyd, Property Master Academy on 9 December 2019 | Comments

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The state of the housing market remains mixed across the country.

The latest Zoopla cities house price index makes interesting reading and shows house price growth across major cities rose to 2.9% in October. However, the rate at which house prices are rising has slowed to below 5% in the most resilient cities for the first time since November 2012.

For once, the market in the southern half of the country is showing indications of a recovery. In London, prices rose by 1% in the past year, the strongest growth for two years, reversing the 1.1% drop the city experienced during the previous 12 months.

property prices uk

But it’s still northern cities that continue to report the biggest rises in house prices even though the pace of growth is slowing. Some areas in the south are performing well, thanks to investment and infrastructure improvements. However, there’s still a north-south divide when it comes to house prices.

Where are the top performing cities?

Leicester topped the table as the city with the strongest house price growth over the last 12 months with a 4.7% increase. But this was lower than the 5.6% recorded in the previous 12 months.

Next came Manchester with growth of 4.6%, followed by Liverpool with 4.1%. Behind these cities were Belfast and Edinburgh both with 4%. Each of these top five cities enjoyed considerably higher growth than the UK average of 2.2%.

Edinburgh, Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham have all recorded growth of more than 15% in house prices since the start of 2017. However, this pace is set to slow going into 2020.

Where are the worst performing cities?

In Aberdeen, house prices fell year-on-year in October. The price of property fell by 5.9%. In Oxford, house price growth stayed still, with no change during the past 12 months.

Some southern cities did report growth of at least 1%. Bristol saw an increase of 3% year-on-year. And house prices in Cambridge were 2.2% higher, a change from the drop of 3.2% recorded during the previous 12 months.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, commented: “There is a clear imbalance between supply and demand for housing across southern cities and this explains why house price growth in these cities is at its lowest level since 2012. Robust demand from buyers continues to support house price growth in northern cities and Edinburgh.”

Average time to sell a property

The north-south divide is not just affecting property price growth. The house price index revealed that the average time to sell a property across UK cities has risen to 12 weeks. In 2016, it was eight weeks.

Sellers are also dropping an average 3.8% off their original asking price compared to 2.2% three years ago.

But things are looking different in a number of cities where demand is high. In Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff, Leicester, Birmingham and Sheffield homes sell in eight to nine weeks. Plus, in these cities, the discount off asking price is only 2 to 3%.

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