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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

And the biggest house price increase this year has been in...

Newham in London recorded the biggest percentage rise in house prices among major UK towns and cities over the past year, according to research by Halifax. 

Based on the mortgage lender’s own house price data, the average house price in the London borough was 22 per cent higher than in the previous year, increasing from £261,399 to £319,522 in 2015. 

This is nearly double the 12 per cent increase in London as a whole.

Royston in Hertfordshire experienced the second biggest rise in average house prices with an increase of 19 per cent. All ten top performers are in London and the south east of England. 

Stroud in Gloucestershire, Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and Solihull in the West Midlands were the top performers outside London and the south east, recording price rises of 14 to 15 per cent over the past year.

A small number of towns recorded modest declines in house prices 2015: Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales was down 3.8 per cent, Colwyn Bay in north Wales lost 2.3 per cent, Durham dipped 2.1 per cent, and Coalville in Leicestershire eased back by 0.5 per cent.

The 10 worst performing towns are outside London and the south east with the exception of the country’s most expensive area; Kensington and Chelsea, where prices have risen by a mere one per cent in the last year.

"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” explains Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.

"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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