Contrasting fortunes for island property

Shetland Isles Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption House prices in the Shetland Isles were the fastest growing

House prices in the Scottish isles have witnessed contrasting fortunes in the past year - putting them at extreme ends of UK property price movements.

The Shetland Isles recorded the fastest house price growth in the 12 months to the end of January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

However, the Orkney Isles saw the fourth biggest fall in prices over the same period, the ONS data showed.

UK property prices, on average, rose by 6.2% in the year.

This meant that the typical home in the UK cost £218,000.

Image caption Hall of Clestrain Orphir, Orkney

The ONS figures record the UK local authority areas seeing the sharpest house prices rises and the biggest falls in the year to the end of January.

These show that the average house price in the Shetland Isles rose by 21.9% in the year to the end of January, to £182,184.

In contrast, the average price in the Orkney Isles was down 4.3% to £108,224 over the same period.

Relatively few homes are bought and sold in the Scottish isles, so the average price can fluctuate significantly.

Where can I afford to live?

Across the UK, the most expensive borough to buy a home was in Kensington and Chelsea, where the cost of an average house was £1.3m in January. The cheapest area to buy a property was Burnley, where an average house cost £73,000.

The figures show that, regionally, the highest annual growth was in the east of England with prices increasing by 9.4%. Growth in the south east of England was second highest at 8.7%, followed by London at 7.3%.

The lowest annual growth was in the north east of England, where prices increased by 2.2% over the year.

UK-wide house price growth accelerated in each of the two months since November, the latest ONS data shows.

Separate ONS figures found that the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index inlfation measure, rose by 2.3% in the year to February.

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