UK house prices: Suburbia takes off

flats in Salford, Greater Manchester Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Flats in Salford, Greater Manchester, where prices have risen steeply

While the housing market in central London continues to cool, house prices across suburban Britain are taking off.

Figures from the Land Registry - which include cash sales - show prices in parts of outer London rising by nearly 20% a year.

Areas on the outskirts of Manchester are seeing rises of up to 9.2%, in places including Trafford and Salford.

And parts of south-eastern England loved by commuters are seeing annual rises of more than 13%.

Earlier this week, figures from the Registers of Scotland showed prices rising in East Lothian, on the eastern fringes of Edinburgh, by 28.6%.

At the same time, other areas of the UK are seeing declining prices.

In north-eastern England, for example, prices fell by 4% between February and March alone.

Darlington, in County Durham, has seen house price falls of 6.2% over the last year, according to the Land Registry.

Top 10 suburban areas in England and Wales
Monthly rise Feb/Mar 2015 Annual rise March 14/15
Bracknell Forest, Berkshire -0.4% 13.6%
Hertfordshire 0.7% 13.6%
Reading 1% 13.5%
Slough 1% 12.7%
Milton Keynes 1.2% 12.5%
Medway, Kent 1.2% 12%
Southend, Essex 1.3% 12%
Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales -0.3% 11.2%
Luton 0.5% 10.6%
Trafford, Manchester 0.4% 9.2%
source: Land Registry

Crossrail effect

Parts of central London are also beginning to see falling prices.

The cost of homes in Kensington and Chelsea was down by 1.6% between February and March.

However, it is a different story in parts of outer London or elsewhere in the South East, where transport links are good and where families can find better value.

"The biggest price rises are in areas popular with commuters, such as Greenwich and Harrow, and suburban locations including Reading and Bracknell," said Tom Harrington, managing director of estate agent

Prices are also buoyant to the east and west of London, possibly because of the forthcoming opening of the Crossrail link.

Newham, in London's East End, has prices rising by 19.8% a year, with Greenwich at 18.8%.

Bracknell Forest, close to the M4 in Berkshire, is seeing annual rises of 13.6%. In nearby Reading, the figure is 13.5%.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption House prices in Greenwich - in the east of London - are rising at nearly 19% a year

Most experts expect average house prices to rise by 5-6% this year, partly because the cost of borrowing remains so low.

One lender is expected to launch a two-year fixed mortgage rate on Friday 1 May at an interest rate of 1.09% a year - a record low.

Outer London takes off
Monthly rise February/March 2015 Annual rise March 2014/15
Newham 0.1% 19.8%
Greenwich 0.9% 18.8%
Lewisham 0.4% 17.3%
Hillingdon 1.1% 17%
Harrow 0.5% 16.6%
source: Land Registry for England & Wales

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