Cheltenham saw the highest percentage rise in house prices of any major UK town or city in 2017, according to new research by Halifax.
The average house price in the Gloucestershire town was 13% higher than in the previous year, increasing from £277,118 to £313,150 in 2017, nearly five times the 2.7% increase in the UK as a whole.
The seaside town of Bournemouth on the south coast experienced the second biggest rise, with an increase of 11.7%, while Brighton, on the south east coast completed the top three with an 11.4% rise in the past year.
15 of the 20 top house price performers are in London and southern England – these include Crawley (10.4%), Newham (10.2%), Peterborough (10.1%), Gloucester (9.5%) and Exeter (9.1%).
Huddersfield (9.3%) in Yorkshire and the Humber, Nottingham (8.9%) and Lincoln (8.4%) in the East Midlands along with Stockport in the North West (8.2%) and Swansea in Wales (7.7%) are the top performers outside London and the South, making the top 20 this year.
Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said: “A number of towns and cities have recorded significant rises in house prices over the past year, with all of the top 20 performers recording growth of at least double the national average.
“Unlike last year, the top performers are not exclusive to London and the South East, with the top spot now belonging to Cheltenham in the South West, and towns in East Anglia, East Midlands, North West, Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber also making the list.”
The average house price in the London boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Barnet have grown in cash terms by over £40,000 since 2016. In Richmond upon Thames, the average house price has risen by £45,463 (or 7.6%) to £646,112 and in Barnet – £41,697 (or 7.7%) to £584,049.
13 towns recorded declines in house prices in 2017, with the largest fall in Perth from £190,813 in 2016 to £180,687 (-5.3%).
Galley added: “The majority of towns in which house prices have dropped in the last year, are situated within Scotland or Yorkshire and the Humber. Generally speaking, property prices in these areas have been constrained by lower employment levels or relatively weaker economic conditions when compared to those areas that have seen house price growth.”