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Report highlights ‘stark regional polarisation of housing wealth’

By Vicky Shaw, Press Association Personal Finance Correspondent

Only one local authority area in the whole of England and Wales is yet to see average house prices pass the £100,000 mark, analysis has found.

Blaenau Gwent in South Wales now stands alone out of the 348 local authorities, with Burnley having finally seen the average price of flat and house sales tip over the £100,000 line last year, according to property group Savills.

The average property sale price in Blaenau Gwent in 2017 was £97,147, Savills found.

The research, which used Land Registry data, also highlighted the house price divide between southern England and the rest of England and Wales.

House prices in all local authorities in London and the South East had broken through the £100,000 mark by 2002, with the South West and the east of England following soon after, by the end of 2003.

As far back as 1995, the average sale price in 35 local authorities had crossed the £100,000 line, including nine London boroughs, several high-value commuter hotspots such as Guildford, St Albans, Winchester, Sevenoaks and Woking, as well as a single local authority in the South West – Cotswold, Savills found.

How house prices have crossed the £100,000 threshold in recent years (Savills/PA)

Fifteen years ago, half of all London boroughs had crossed the £200,000 mark, while Trafford, Harrogate and Hambleton, all relatively affluent locations with established prime housing market clusters, were the first northern local authorities to pass the £200,000 mark and did so in 2014, the report found.

Every London borough saw the average sale price exceed £300,000 last year, with Kensington and Chelsea, where the average price is now more than £2 million, having hit the £300,000 price point 20 years ago.

The average values of all sales recorded by the Land Registry in 2017 was £291,388, three times the Blaenau Gwent average.

“It remains to be seen if Bleanau Gwent will finally cross the £100,000 line this year, but this analysis lays bare the stark regional polarisation of housing wealth,” said Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills.

“Even if house prices continue to rise in line with the average of the past two decades, it’ll be 2036 before the average sale price in all local authorities of England and Wales reaches the £200,000 mark.

“House prices at a regional level are a clear reflection of underlying regional economic factors, but such polarisation reduces social mobility and perpetuates the haves and have nots of housing wealth.”