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Somerset’s Taunton sees biggest house price rises, says Halifax 

The Somerset town of Taunton has seen the biggest rise in house prices in Britain, with values up more than 20 per cent this year.

It tops a list of the house price winners and losers in 2021, compiled by Halifax, with towns and more rural areas leading the way.

The huge 21.8 per cent growth in property values in Taunton is more than three times the national average, which currently stands at 6.2 per cent.

Pictured: Somerset’s Taunton has seen the biggest rise in house prices, up 21.8 per cent in a year, according to research by Halifax

Halifax has revealed the areas with the biggest increases in house price growth in Britain

Halifax has revealed the areas with the biggest increases in house price growth in Britain

In cash terms, the rise in Taunton translates to £56,546, bringing the average price of a home in the Somerset town to £315,759.

Also ranking highly in the price winners’ list is in the Wiltshire town of Chippenham, which has good links to the M4 and rural surroundings.

Although it has seen a smaller percentage increase in house prices of 18.1 per cent, this translates into the biggest rise in cash terms of almost £60,000 in just one year.

Average values in Chippenham have increased from £322,859 in 2020 to £381,181 a year later, having risen £58,322.

Another winner in the hotspot list is the Wiltshire town of Chippenham, which has seen the biggest rise in cash terms of almost £60,000 in just one year

Another winner in the hotspot list is the Wiltshire town of Chippenham, which has seen the biggest rise in cash terms of almost £60,000 in just one year

The top 20 areas with the highest price rises do not contain any London boroughs, reflecting how buyers have shunned cities in favour of towns and rural areas during the pandemic.

Rising house prices were not limited to the South. Indeed, the Halifax research found that only five of the top 20 biggest rises occurred in towns across the South East and South West.

The remaining 15 were spread across the Midlands, Wales, North of England and Scotland.

WHY SOMERSET’S TAUNTON? 

Pictured: Somerset's Taunton

Pictured: Somerset’s Taunton

Somerset’s Taunton reaching the top slot of house price rises has not come as a surprise to some.

Residents praise its commutable distance to London for those only required to be in the office a couple of days a week, its good schools and a National Park being on its doorstep. 

Robin Gould, of buying agents Prime Purchase, said: ‘I’ve been recommending Taunton to clients for years. It has long been the place where you can get more for your money, although predictably property prices are now rising.

‘If you look at a map, it looks a long way from everything and yet it’s less than two hours on the train from London Paddington so it’s very quick. If you don’t have to commute every day, it’s incredibly accessible.

‘Although Taunton was bombed during the war and so much of it is modern and ugly, it has everything you could possibly want – good schools, shops, and Exmoor on the doorstep. It offers that balance between London and country, and with more people searching by lifestyle, it ticks all the boxes.’

TOWNS WITH THE HIGHEST HOUSE PRICE GROWTH 2020 – 2021
Town Region Average House Price 2020 Average House Price 2021 1 year change £ 1 year change %
Taunton South West 259,213 315,759 56,546 21.8%
Newark East Midlands 234,202 280,934 46,732 20.0%
Rochdale North West 173,975 206,098 32,123 18.5%
Chippenham South West 322,859 381,181 58,322 18.1%
Braintree South East 301,980 356,216 54,236 18.0%
Widnes North West 189,247 222,876 33,628 17.8%
Motherwell Scotland 151,015 177,118 26,103 17.3%
Bolton North West 181,853 212,671 30,818 16.9%
Hereford West Midlands 262,536 306,872 44,336 16.9%
Walsall West Midlands 199,358 230,972 31,614 15.9%
Bradford Yorkshire and Humberside 147,361 170,684 23,323 15.8%
Swansea Wales 183,230 211,590 28,360 15.5%
Kettering East Midlands 248,320 285,103 36,783 14.8%
Maidstone South East 323,208 370,964 47,756 14.8%
Newton Abbot South West 284,609 326,623 42,014 14.8%
Spalding East Midlands 230,965 264,668 33,703 14.6%
Wirral North West 241,107 276,042 34,936 14.5%
Scunthorpe Yorkshire and Humberside 154,199 176,186 21,986 14.3%
Doncaster Yorkshire and Humberside 176,728 201,824 25,096 14.2%
Hamilton Scotland 139,951 159,176 19,225 13.7%
UK average 304,598 323,355 18,757 6.2%
Source: Halifax         

The area of London with the highest growth was Enfield, where average values were up 6.8 per cent, from £479,745 in 2020, to £512,135 in 2021.

It was marginally ahead of Harrow, where average prices rose 6.7 per cent, from £531,708 in 2020 to £567,501 in 2021.

Russell Galley, of Halifax, said: ‘As the county town of Somerset, this year’s house prince winner, Taunton, has a lot to offer homebuyers with its high quality of life and great transport links to major towns and cities across the South West.

‘Like Taunton, many of the areas that saw the biggest house price growth over the last year enjoy a combination of greater affordability and space compared to nearby cities. 

‘Places like Bolton, Newark, Bradford and Hamilton – where there are a broad range of property types and settings – all offer significantly better value than their more metropolitan neighbours.’

‘This is perhaps most clearly shown in the UK’s capital. It is rare that no London boroughs appear among the areas of highest house price growth but that is the case in 2021. 

‘This shift echoes what we have seen from home buyers over the last year – less focus on major cities and more demand in the suburbs and further afield.’

Rise of the North

The top 20 areas for house price growth included four from the North West – which were Rochdale, Widnes, Bolton, and Wirral – three from Yorkshire and the Humber – which were Bradford, Scunthorpe, and Doncaster – and two from Scotland, which were Motherwell and Hamilton. A further six were from the Midlands and Wales.

It is in sharp contrast with 2020, when 11 of the areas with the greatest growth were in London and the South.

The top 20 areas for house price growth included fourlocations in the North West - including Rochdale in Greater Manchester (pictured)

The top 20 areas for house price growth included fourlocations in the North West – including Rochdale in Greater Manchester (pictured)

REGIONAL HOUSE PRICE CHANGES 2020 – 2021
Region Average House Price 2020 Average House Price 2021 1 year change £ 1 year change %
Wales 202,680 231,134 28,454 14.0%
Yorkshire and Humberside 209,858 231,553 21,695 10.3%
East Midlands 241,453 265,828 24,375 10.1%
East Anglia 294,814 322,604 27,790 9.4%
Scotland 191,017 207,778 16,761 8.8%
North West 223,913 242,286 18,373 8.2%
Northern Ireland 175,528 188,892 13,364 7.6%
South West 306,502 329,110 22,608 7.4%
West Midlands 251,474 266,659 15,185 6.0%
North 184,678 195,515 10,837 5.9%
South East 408,391 420,042 11,651 2.9%
Greater London 558,272 554,684 -3,588 -0.6%
UK average 304,598 323,355 18,757 6.2%
Source: Halifax         

Wales saw the greatest rate of house price growth across any region in Britain, according to Halifax, with the value of homes rising by 14 per cent on average, from £202,680 in 2020 to £231,134 in 2021.

This was well ahead of those in second and third place – Yorkshire and Humber and East Anglia – where gains of just over 10 per cent were made during the past 12 months.

On average, almost every region between the Midlands and Scotland saw house prices increase by the national average or more during the last year.

Scotland saw average growth of 8.8 per cent, with prices rising by £16,761 to £207,778. Motherwell saw the highest growth with 17.3 per cent, up £26,103 to £177,118, ahead of Hamilton at 13.7 per cent – up £19,225 to £159,176 -, and Dumfries on 13.6 per cent – up £20,982 to £175,002.

Like the rest of Britain, while the major cities saw growth, in most instances it was at a rate below the Scottish average.

Only Dundee – at 11.3 per cent – had an above regional average increase, with Aberdeen at 8.4 per cent, Glasgow at 7.1 per cent, and Edinburgh at 7.0 per cent all falling short of Scotland-wide gains.

At the other end of the country, the capital experienced a largely flat year for house prices. Greater London saw average prices fall marginally, down 0.6 per cent from £558,272 to £554,684.

The picture across individual boroughs was mixed. Enfield and Harrow were the only two areas with growth beyond the national average. Westminster saw the greatest fall of any area of the country, down 6.9 per cent.

TOWNS WITH THE LOWEST HOUSE PRICE GROWTH, 2020 – 2021
Town Region Average House Price 2020 Average House Price 2021 1 year change £ 1 year change %
Westminster Greater London 792,896 738,088 -54,809 -6.9%
Airdrie Scotland 156,897 150,874 -6,023 -3.8%
Hammersmith And Fulham Greater London 741,066 716,541 -24,525 -3.3%
Coatbridge Scotland 149,315 145,880 -3,435 -2.3%
Islington Greater London 727,922 716,554 -11,368 -1.6%
Kirkcaldy Scotland 155,888 157,663 1,774 1.1%
Oxford South East 477,085 482,893 5,808 1.2%
Croydon Greater London 429,939 436,441 6,502 1.5%
Inverness Scotland 195,534 198,672 3,137 1.6%
Cambridge East Anglia 465,191 473,790 8,600 1.8%
Dartford South East 347,098 353,714 6,616 1.9%
Gravesend South East 347,366 356,196 8,830 2.5%
Stockton On Tees North 185,997 190,736 4,739 2.5%
Waltham Cross South East 403,208 414,071 10,863 2.7%
Glenrothes Scotland 147,250 151,945 4,695 3.2%
Bexley Greater London 401,946 416,390 14,444 3.6%
Waltham Forest Greater London 509,443 530,176 20,733 4.1%
Havering Greater London 411,084 428,012 16,927 4.1%
Sutton Greater London 461,736 481,265 19,529 4.2%
Enfield Greater London 479,745 512,135 32,390 6.8%
UK average 304,598 323,355 18,757 6.2%
Source: Halifax           

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