The seaside town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, Smethwick in the West Midlands and Diss in Norfolk were the top towns for property growth in 2018, with prices up as much as 10% in a year when house price inflation across the UK fell to 1%.
The biggest price fall was in Alnwick, Northumberland, best known for its castle used as a location in the Harry Potter films, where values dropped by 6.6%. Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, Nantwich in Cheshire and Eastleigh in Hampshire all recorded price falls of 5% or more.
The figures were compiled by the property website Zoopla. In a relatively subdued year for the UK property market, it said prices nationally rose by an average of 1.02% during 2018.
Even that relatively small increase added £83bn to the total value of British residential property, which Zoopla estimated was worth £8.29tn by the end of the year.
Scotland was the fastest-rising region, with prices up 6.4% to an average of £195,739, followed by Wales, where prices rose 3.9% to £192,362. In England, prices crept ahead by 0.6% but the average is a much higher £325,839.
The property market has been dominated by Brexit fears in recent months, with most of the major house value indices showing flat or falling prices, particularly in London and the south.
Zoopla said there was an outright decline of 1.7% in London prices, while in the east of England prices also fell on average by 0.5% over the year.
The Brexit effect is even hitting house prices outside the UK, with it being blamed for Ireland’s property market coming to a shuddering halt in the final quarter of 2018 as prices flatlined for the first time since the property crash of 2007-08.
Richard Donnell of Zoopla said:“This latest analysis into the value of Britain’s housing stock shows that while the overall value has grown by 1% this is slower than the 3.5% growth in 2017.
“The slower growth is down to the value of housing falling in London and the east of England while values have increased across the rest of the country. Scotland and Wales are where values have grown more than the national average.”
Forecasters are anticipating another year of virtually flat house prices in 2019, with most pencilling in gains of zero to 2%.