Business

Newham tops best house price performers for 2015

People looking in the window of an estate agent's in South Kensington, London Image copyright PA
Image caption The high cost of central London property has forced many buyers to look further out

The London borough of Newham, home to the Olympic Stadium, enjoyed the biggest rise in house prices across the UK in 2015, according to the Halifax.

The average house price there rose 22.2% over the year compared with 2014.

Homes in Newham, situated five miles east of the City of London, are now worth an average £319,522 as against £261,399 previously.

Wales fared far worse, with Merthyr Tydfil and Colwyn Bay topping the list of worst performing areas for 2015.

According to data from the Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, average house prices in Merthyr Tydfil fell by 3.8% to £103,983. Colwyn Bay recorded a fall of 2.3%, sending the average price of a home there down to £148,272.

A surprise inclusion in the worst performers was Kensington and Chelsea, the borough that includes the UK's most expensive and exclusive areas. Prices there rose just 1% to an average £807,407.

Stamp duty changes introduced in the 2014 Autumn Statement meant buyers at the top end of the market paid more tax, sending buyers outside London for more affordable homes.

Of the top 10 biggest average house price gainers in 2015, five were in the South East, with Royston in Hertfordshire the second-best area, rising 19.1% to £357,049. This contrasts with 2014, when Greater London dominated the best performers.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, said: "Those areas that have seen the biggest house price increases over the past year are either in outer London or within close commuting distance of the capital.

"Demand in these areas has risen as rapid house price rises in central London in the past few years have caused increasing numbers of people to look for property in more affordable areas.

He added: "A few towns have experienced modest price falls. These areas are typically still suffering from relatively weak employment and economic conditions, which has dampened local housing demand."

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