Finance

Property prices in 53% of UK towns still below average 2007 values

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26th April 2016
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The latest research from HouseSimple.com has found that hundreds of thousands of UK homeowners who bought property in 2007 are likely to be stuck in negative equity - with the worst affected areas being Blackpool and Middlesbrough.

Almost 1.5 million property transactions were completed in 2007 when property prices reached peak levels, just before the financial markets imploded in 2008.

According to HouseSimple’s research, today’s average property prices in more than half (53%) of UK towns and cities are still below average prices in 2007. While average London prices have risen a staggering 56% since 2007, that is simply not the case across large swathes of the country, particularly in the North of England.

The research, which looked at 75 major towns and cities in England and Wales, found that 17 of the 20 most affected towns and cities since the financial crash are in the North of England, with the North West the worst hit by post-recession negative equity - four-in-ten (40%) of the top 20 negative equity towns and cities are in the region.

The worst affected towns are Blackpool and Middlesbrough, where house prices are still almost 30% lower than pre-crash highs. Along with Blackpool, Blackburn and Liverpool are both in the top five worst affected towns and cities, with average house prices still 25% and 23% lower respectively than before the crash.
 
Yorkshire and the Humber has also been hit hard, with a quarter of towns in the Top 20 list in that region. Average prices in Middlesbrough are still 28% below pre-2008 levels, while in Bradford and Hull, house prices are 20% and 19% lower than 2007 averages.

The following table compares average property prices in 2007 to February 2016, showing the UK towns and cities that are still heavily in negative equity since the financial crash:

Town/City

Region

Average price

2007 (£)

Average price February 2016 (£)

% difference between 2007 & Feb 2016 prices

1

Blackpool

North West

£109,581

£77,317

-29.4

2

Middlesbrough

Yorkshire & the Humber

£107,603

£77,024

-28.4

3

Sunderland

North East

£115,654

£86,219

-25.5

4

Blackburn

North West

£94,269

£71,034

-24.6

5

Liverpool

North West

£122,392

£94,244

-23.0

6

Bradford

Yorkshire & the Humber

£120,538

£96,693

-19.8

7

Bolton

North West

£115,789

£93,448

-19.3

8

Hull

Yorkshire & the Humber

£87,848

£70,914

-19.3

9

Doncaster

Yorkshire & the Humber

£116,762

£95,016

-18.6

10

Stoke-on-Trent

West Midlands

£89,062

£72,490

-18.6

11

Gateshead

North East

£118,303

£96,805

-18.2

12

Stockton-on-Tees

North East

£134,514

£111,158

-17.4

13

Preston

North West

£134,514

£111,158

-17.4

14

Rotherham

Yorkshire & the Humber

£120,453

£101,529

-15.7

15

Newport

Wales

£139,529

£117,982

-15.4

16

Rochdale

North West

£127,085

£107,685

-15.3

17

Wolverhampton

West Midlands

£122,943

£105,102

-14.5

18

Southport

North West

£182,722

£156,743

-14.2

19

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

North East

£140,191

£122,451

-12.7

20

Salford

North West

£115,766

£101,281

-12.5

House price recovery in the South has been much stronger than the north. As you might expect, London’s house prices have more than recovered, and average prices today are almost £200,000 higher than 2007 levels.

Property prices in Winchester also seem to be recession proof, up 44% to £447,046, compared to average 2007 prices. Meanwhile, average prices in the commuter town of Stevenage are 39% higher than pre-recession values.

Sale and Stockport in the North West, where house prices now average £252,203 and £206,368 respectively (25% and 22% more than 2007), buck the trend in the region; they’re the only towns outside the South of England in the top 20 towns and cities where house prices have more than recovered to pre-recession levels.

The following table compares property prices in 2007 to February 2016, showing the UK towns and cities that have best recovered since the 2008 financial crash:

Town/City

Region

Average prices 2007 (£)

Average price February 2016 (£)

% difference between 2007 & Feb 2016 prices

1

London

London

£339,511

£530,368

56.2

2

Winchester

South East

£310,089

£447,046

44.2

3

Stevenage

East Anglia

£207,765

£289,265

39.2

4

Warwick

West Midlands

£200,546

£278,396

38.8

5

Bedford

East Anglia

£190,938

£256,282

34.2

6

Brighton

South East

£223,378

£298,653

33.7

7

Bath

South West

£314,896

£412,211

30.9

8

Slough

South East

£181,994

£236,023

29.7

9

Reading

South East

£208,364

£270,002

29.6

10

Sale

North West

£202,452

£252,203

24.6

11

Oxford (Oxfordshire)

South East

£242,896

£300,717

23.8

12

Bristol

South West

£181,588

£223,688

23.2

13

Canterbury

South East

£217,992

£266,621

22.3

14

Eastbourne

South East

£208,170

£254,585

22.3

15

Stockport

North West

£169,813

£206,368

21.5

16

Worcester

West Midlands

£177,492

£208,620

17.5

17

Milton Keynes

South East

£171,861

£201,081

17.0

18

Cambridge (Cambridgeshire)

East Anglia

£191,331

£223,837

17.0

19

Colchester (Essex)

East Anglia

£200,740

£234,680

16.9

20

Luton

East Anglia

£145,595

£169,184

16.2

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com comments: “London homeowners have watched as their properties have risen in value substantially since 2008 but, thousands of people around the country have had to put their lives on hold, unable to move because they are trapped in negative equity. 

“Unfortunately, the North of England has been slower to recover losses suffered during and after 2008. And anyone wanting to relocate for work or family reasons faces a less than appealing choice, either making a loss on the sale of their property or staying put and waiting until the price of their house at least recovers to the price they paid.

There is light at the end of the tunnel with prices now climbing across the country, and that should help bring many more homeowners out of negative equity. However, for people living in towns like Blackpool and Middlesbrough, it’s going to take some time before prices come close to 2007 levels.”

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