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House Prices Soar In Parts Of UK

House prices soared in parts of the UK in the year to April – as the country saw the second-largest annual rise in well over a decade.

The average UK house price reached £281,161 in April, according to the latest Land Registry data. That was 1.1% above £278,215 in March and 12.4% more than a year earlier, when the figure was £250,210.

That was the second-largest rise in more than 15 years after prices increased by 13.3% in the year to June 2021, which was in part driven by a rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday put in place to boost the property market during the pandemic.

The annual increase was sharper in Wales and Scotland (16.2%) than in England (11.9%), while the change in prices varied hugely between local areas.

In the Orkney Islands in Scotland, the average price rose by 34.3% over the year to £220,739 – the biggest increase of anywhere in the UK. That was followed by the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where it went up 26.7% to £1.5 million – also the highest average price overall – while in Na h-Eileanan Siar (also in Scotland) it rose 25.1% to £159,288.

Commenting on the latest figures, Chris Jenkins, Office for National Statistics house prices statistician, said: “While annual growth nudged up again in April, this was mainly due to falls seen at this time last year from changes in the previous stamp duty holiday. Wales and Scotland saw the highest growth with London, again, growing the slowest.

“Rental prices continued to grow steadily overall. However, while still lagging other nations and regions, growth in London continues to pick up.”

Despite rocketing house prices in many parts of the UK, some property experts are predicting the market could slow down in the coming months due to rising interest rates. The Bank of England recently raised interest rates for the fifth time in a row, to 1.25%, in a bid to put the brakes on rising prices by making borrowing more expensive.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said this could be “as good as it gets” for property owners. She added: “These figures reflect house purchase decisions made much earlier, when we had only had the very first of the interest rate rises, and the full horror of the energy price cap hadn’t kicked in. “In many cases, buyers will have made an offer before the invasion of Ukraine, and well before it had a chance to feed so spectacularly into inflation.”

Average house prices by month and local authority area – top 20 areas ordered by annual % change from highest to lowest:

Area // Average price (April 2020) // Average price (March 2022) // Average price (April 2022) // monthly % change // Annual % change

Orkney Islands // 164,318 // 189,861 // 220,739 // 16.3% // 34.3%

Kensington and Chelsea // 1,194,465 // 1,416,960 // 1,513,711 // 6.8% // 26.7%

Na h-Eileanan Siar // 127,282 // 154,164 // 159,288 // 3.3% // 25.1%

Ceredigion // 211,197 // 256,903 // 259,724 // 1.1% // 23.0%

Scottish Borders // 165,631 // 194,404 // 203,485 // 4.7% // 22.9%

Blaenau Gwent // 107,218 // 128,063 // 131,596 // 2.8% // 22.7%

North Devon // 275,545 // 322,439 // 332,938 // 3.3% // 20.8%

Vale of Glamorgan // 253,366 // 309,820 // 304,037 // -1.9% // 20.0%

Pembrokeshire // 196,958 // 230,474 // 236,190 // 2.5% // 19.9%

Babergh // 302,023 // 349,977 // 361,464 // 3.3% // 19.7%

Merthyr Tydfil // 123,245 // 147,624 // 147,341 // -0.2% // 19.6%

Falkirk // 135,740 // 160,032 // 162,195 // 1.4% // 19.5%

Boston // 166,062 // 189,372 // 196,946 // 4.0% // 18.6%

Burnley // 100,284 // 112,794 // 118,901 // 5.4% // 18.6%

Moray // 159,559 // 179,923 // 189,092 // 5.1% // 18.5%

Milton Keynes // 272,406 // 312,607 // 322,615 // 3.2% // 18.4%

Herefordshire // 256,978 // 298,971 // 303,936 // 1.7% // 18.3%

Broadland // 281,643 // 329,416 // 332,076 // 0.8% // 17.9%

Blaby // 251,169 // 288,930 // 295,759 // 2.4% // 17.8%

South Hams // 344,515 // 394,233 // 405,599 // 2.9% // 17.7%