05 16

Cheapest place to buy a house in great britain

cheapest place to buy a house in great britain

© lovemoneyA new survey by Halifax has revealed both the most expensive and cheapest British towns and cities in terms of property prices.

Unsurprisingly, London dominates the most expensive areas to buy property on a per square metre basis.

Kensington and Chelsea was the most expensive area with an average of £11,635 paid per square metre – nearly six times the national average of £2,033.

The borough is the only area in Britain with an average price above £10,000, with Westminster the next priciest at £9,571.

Halifax says 16 areas in Greater London now have an average price in excess of £5,000 per square metre, which is four more than last year.

But what about the places outside the English capital and its surrounding areas?

First, here are the 10 most EXPENSIVE British towns and cities to buy a home in outside southern England.

10. York

© lovemoneyAverage price per square metre: £2,024

This historic city is a top tourist destination thanks to its Minster, well-preserved city walls and quaint streets, so it’s no wonder it’s a pricey place to live.

The cost is further increased by the area’s good transport links to the likes of Leeds and Bradford and the proximity of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

In fact, York is the only city in northern England to regularly make it into the top 20 most expensive UK cities.

9. Cheadle

© lovemoney/Ben Brooksbank/Wikimedia CommonsAverage price per square metre: £2,033

This town was traditionally a stopping-off point for travellers on the road to Manchester and is now very much commuter territory, hence the high property prices, even though there's no longer a railway station in Cheadle itself.

However, it's very close to the M60 and there are rail and tram stations nearby. It's also very handy for Manchester airport.

Its desirability is increased by its leafy streets and parkland.

8. Sale

© lovemoney/David Dixon/Wikimedia CommonsAverage price per square metre: £2,138

This town located on the south bank of the River Mersey boasts good amenities and excellent transport links, which makes it an in-demand area for housing.

House prices in the area are boosted by the range of good schools, the wealth of parks and green spaces, a pedestrianised town centre shopping area that received a £7 million makeover in 2003 and a Waterside Arts Centre which houses a plaza, theatre, library and galleries.

What’s more, the area is a great commuter hub with good transport links to Manchester, Stockport, Chester and North Yorkshire by road as well as the Manchester Metrolink tram network.

7. Harrogate

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Average price per square metre: £2,196

People enjoy living in this Yorkshire spa town so much that it was voted the happiest place to live in both 2013 and 2014, so it’s no wonder prices are at a premium here.

The area boasts a great mix of independent and high street shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants as well as big green open spaces.

What’s more the town is ideally positioned for commuters travelling to nearby Leeds and has a choice of excellent schools including St Aidan's High School and Harrogate Grammar School, which are among the highest-performing state secondary schools in North Yorkshire.

6. Aberdeen

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Average price per square metre: £2,281

This lively cosmopolitan city is famous for its architecture, golf courses, universities and rich history.

House prices are steep here thanks to a booming oil industry which means there are plenty of jobs and a very high quality of life.

With the nickname of the 'Granite City’ you’d think it was a very grey place but Aberdeen boasts flower-filled parks and is a 13 times winner of Britain in Bloom. It’s also one of the few UK cities with a beach.

5. Edinburgh

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Average price per square metre: £2,297

It’s not surprising to see the Scottish capital high up on the list of expensive areas outside southern England with its strong economy and culture.

The area has a buoyant job market, with flourishing sectors including finance, technology, creative, tourism and renewable energy.

The city is also well served by transport links and is a vibrant place to live; with plenty of restaurants, clubs and pubs as well as attractions like the castle and cultural festivals like the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival bringing visitors to the city every year.

4. Leamington Spa

© lovemoney/Amanda Slater/Wikimedia Commons

Average price per square metre: £2,353

Prices are at a premium in this spa town thanks to the good mix of shops, restaurants and bars. People who live in the area also appreciate having countryside within walking distance.

The area, sometimes known as ‘Silicon Spa’, is also a centre for the games industry with companies like DNA Interactive, Codemasters and FreeStyle Games located in the area, making it a prime location.

Leamington is also well located for commuters with links to Birmingham, Oxford and London via the M40 and train services to London running every half an hour.

3. Warwick

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Average price per square metre: £2,363

It’s unsurprising this county town with its distinct historic charm and grand castle is one of the most expensive areas for property.

The area boasts many amenities which keep it in demand including beautiful parks and gardens as well as independent businesses, traditional tea rooms and trendy boutiques.

House prices are further boosted by the big businesses based in the area like National Grid plc, Bravissimo and IBM. Plus there are good transport links by road for Birmingham or Coventry via the M40 and by rail to Leamington Spa, London, Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon, making it a great area for commuters.

2. Solihull

© lovemoney/Elliott Brown/Flickr/Wikimedia CommonsAverage price per square metre: £2,367

This West Midlands town is in high demand and is the second most expensive place for property outside southern England. People say the area is a great place to live thanks to an abundance of green spaces, leisure centres and nature reserves and it’s also one of the best shopping areas in the region with designer labels and retail brands, a John Lewis and the award winning Torchwood Shopping Centre.

The area also has a wealth of employment opportunities with major companies like Enterprise Inns, Jaguar Land Rove and Cooks the Bakery based in the area.

House prices are further uplifted by the good road links via the M42 to Birmingham, Oxford and London, rail services to Birmingham and London and the area is also well positioned if you need to travel by air with Birmingham International Airport just 10 minutes away from Solihull Town Centre.

1. Altrincham

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Average price per square metre: £2,446

Property premiums in this market town have improved following the BBC’s arrival at MediaCityUK in nearby Salford in 2012 and ITV’s move in 2013.

The area is a popular choice for the influx of new faces because of the wealth of conservation areas in the town and great transport links provided by the Metrolink tram network.

What’s more the area also boasts some exceptional schools, with several primary and secondary schools in the area achieving “outstanding” from Ofsted inspections.

So these are the 10 most expensive towns and cities - but which are the 10 CHEAPEST towns and cities in Britain? Read on...

10. Blackpool

© lovemoney

Average price per square metre: £1,052

This major seaside resort famed for its piers, tower and theme park thrived in the first half of the 20th century. But with the arrival of cheap package holidays to sunnier climes in the 1960s, the area fell into a steady decline.

House prices have suffered as a result. There are high levels of unemployment and average wages are some of the lowest in the country. What’s more there’s a higher than average crime rate and a lack of green spaces, which makes the town less desirable.

That said major investment has helped restore visitor numbers in recent years, and money continues to be pumped into the area to diversify the economy as well as improve shopping, education and housing to make it a more attractive place to live.

9. Scunthorpe

© lovemoney

Average price per square metre: £1,022

This industrial town in North Lincolnshire has been producing steel for over 150 years and remains the UK’s largest steel processing centre. But the economy has been in decline since the closure of the major ironworks in the 1980s.

The town has suffered further factory closures in other developing industries (Ericson 2001, Mondi Hypac 2009, Karro 2015) causing big redundancies in recent years and the loss of household names like Marks & Spencer (2011) and MacDonald’s (2013) from the high street has dampened the appeal of the town.

What’s more the area was painted in a less than flattering light in the 2013 Channel 4 documentary Skint, which followed out-of-work residents from the Westcliff Estate living on benefits.

8. Neath

© lovemoney/Cliffordchance via Wikimedia Commons

Average price per square metre: £1,005

This South Wales town was industrialised during the 17th and 18th centuries with coal mining and heavy metal refining. But with the demise of heavy industry, Aberpergwm Colliery being the latest victim, jobs are a big problem in the area.

Labour market statistics show job density and average earnings are much lower in the town compared to the rest of the UK.

Like other declining manufacturing towns efforts are being made to turn things around and the town will be the first to benefit from funding from the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales (RIFW), with a £13 million boost for a new retail centre and multi-store car park.

7. Coatbridge

© lovemoney

Average price per square metre: £1,004

This North Lanarkshire town grew during the industrial revolution as a centre for coal mining and iron works following the invention of the hot blast furnace and was once known as the ‘Iron Burgh’.

However by the 20th century, industry was in decline and the last iron works closed in 1967. Today the area has problems with unemployment and a failing town centre which have kept house prices at bay.

Prospect architecture magazine dubbed the area ‘the most dismal place in Scotland’ in its 2007 Carbuncle awards, but a town centre action plan was set out in 2012 with the goal of rejuvenating the area. The council is now trying to promote the area as a tourist destination with the Sumerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life (pictured) and Time Capsule its major selling points.

6. Greenrock

© lovemoneyAverage price per square metre: £1,004

This Scottish town sits on the south bank of the River Clyde and historically has thrived as a shipbuilding centre and port. But with the winding down of heavy industry in the 1970s and 1980s the economy has suffered.

Today, with development and investment in shopping and leisure facilities, the local economy has started to recover, and the transformation of the Clydeport Container Terminal as an ocean terminal for cruise ships crossing the Atlantic has led to a rise in tourism.

But despite regeneration of the area latest labour market statistics show job density is low plus unemployment and the numbers claiming Jobseekers' Allowance is still high compared to the Scottish and national average.

5. Airdrie

© lovemoney/HarryAlffa/freebase.com

Average price per square metre: £998

The second of three North Lanarkshire towns to make the top 10 cheapest places for property suffers from the same shift from heavy industry to modern manufacturing and services at the turn of the 20th century.

Like neighbouring Coatbridge the town has suffered from unemployment and a declining town centre and was also once dubbed ‘the most dismal place in Scotland’ by Prospect architecture magazine in 2000.

A recent review of town centres within North Lanarkshire concluded that there was a great need to diversify and develop jobs as well as make amenities attractive and safe. But with good road and rail links to Glasgow and Edinburgh the town is also being tipped as a potential commuter hotspot.

4. Accrington

© lovemoney/Rept0n1x/Wikimedia Commons

Average price per square metre: £990

This Lancashire town was a centre for cotton, textile, engineering and coal mining during the 19th century and was famed for producing dense iron bricks called “NORI”. Following the slowdown of heavy industry the town has become a vibrant shopping district.

However, house prices remain subdued. This could be because job density and average earnings are low compared to the rest of the North West and Great Britain. Plus a large number of properties have been deemed ‘unfit’ or are currently vacant.

Hyndburn Council is working to remedy this housing situation, but suffered a setback when the coalition Government cut the funding in 2010, However private investment in 2013 pumped £10 million into the Woodnock area that will eventually see 150 homes brought back into use.

The council also wants to upgrade the town centre and build a new bus station to make the area more attractive, but again as some of the funding has run dry, which means improvements may take a while to come around.

3. Merthyr Tydfil

© lovemoney/Robert from UK/Wikimedia CommonsAverage price per square metre: £967

This South Wales valley town has a long history in iron and steel production and coal mining. But both industries slipped into a slow decline following the end of the First World War, coming to a head with the 1984 Miners’ Strike to keep remaining coal pits open.

A Channel 4 series ranked Merthyr Tydfil the third-worst place to live in Britain in 2006.

In 2010 the council was awarded £24.2 million to regenerate the area. But some parts of the town remain economically disadvantaged. The number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance is much higher here compared to the rest of Wales and Great Britain. Plus job density is also significantly lower in comparison, which may account for why house prices remain so low.

2. Wishaw

© lovemoney/Badbob82/Wikipedia Commons

Average price per square metre: £926

The third North Lanarkshire town in the top 10 cheapest places has also suffered from the decline of heavy manufacturing and the difficulties of trying to turn the economy in a new direction.

Unemployment is high in the area and average earnings low in comparison with the Scottish and national average which could explain why house prices are so cheap.

Furthermore the town centre was identified along with nearby Airdrie and Coatbridge as in need of regeneration in 2012 to combat out of town retail parks and online shopping as well as to help the general economy diversify and provide better amenities. Projects in the area are ongoing.

1. Aberdare

© lovemoney/Scottie UK/Wikimedia Commons

Average price per square metre: £910

This South Wales valley town is located in the upper Cynon Valley, on the River Dare close to the Brecon Beacons National Park.

In the past the area benefited from the iron industry and later thorough coal mining. But in common with other areas in the vicinity both started a slow decline after the First World War.

The area now suffers from a high level of deprivation with high unemployment, so it’s no wonder house prices are so low here. However, £7.7 million is being pumped into the area to regenerate the town centre, which could help to turn things around.


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