House price growth: New vs historic towns

Out with the old and in with the new? Certainly seems that way when it comes to property market performance over the last year according to research by Barrows and Forrester, who reveals that the nation’s ‘new’ towns have posted a stronger performance when compared to their historic counterparts.

Property Reporter
10th June 2022
Bath 639

The estate and lettings agent analysed current market values and annual growth across 15 of the nation’s major historic towns and cities and 15 of those considered to be new - post-1946 in this case.

While we’re a nation built on history, as the celebrations of the last week or so have proved, the figures show that it’s actually ‘new’ towns and cities that have seen the strongest performance from a bricks and mortar standpoint.

Across the UK as a whole, the average house price has climbed by 9.9% annually. The nation’s historic towns and cities have outperformed the wider national average during this period, up 10.6% on average. However, at 11.4%, the annual rate of growth across the UK’s new towns has outpaced both the national average and the performance seen across historic locations.

At an average of £293,971, the nation’s new towns are also home to higher average house prices when compared to the average of £258,844 found across historic towns and cities.

New city hotspots

Telford and Harlow rank as the two best performing new towns, with both seeing huge annual growth of 15.1% in the last year alone.

Runcorn is the most affordable of the bunch at £178,934, while Hemel Hempstead commands the highest property price tag with homes currently commanding £441,755.

Historic market hotspots

However, if you would rather something a little more historic, Bath tops the table for historic city house price growth, up 14.3% in the last year.

Durham provides the most affordable historic step onto the ladder at £122,818, while Oxford just beats Bath for the title of least affordable historic market hotspot, with property values averaging £471,179.

James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, commented: “Whether you prefer the fresher face of a newer town or city, or the appeal of a more historic market make-up, the vast and varied diversity of the UK property market means there’s a home to suit all tastes, at varying levels of market affordability.

"However, when it comes to overall property market performance, it’s those locations that have been built and developed in the last 76 years that just edge it ahead of their more historic counterparts.

"This makes sense given the fact that building restrictions aren’t as strict as they might be in the likes of Oxford or Bath, with the ability to deliver a greater deal of new-build homes not only leading to a higher average price but also causing prices to increase at a faster pace.”

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