As we approach the end of the current housing market cycle, we have looked back to see which areas and property types have risen most in value.
Since the start of the cycle in 2008, when house prices plummeted in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, and 2022, the average property price in Great Britain rose by £138,840, or 78%. While this may seem like a lot, it is a deceleration from the rapid pace of growth seen in the previous 14 years – between 1994 and 2008, prices rose by around 199%. Indeed, price growth has typically slowed in each of the last few property market cycles.
London has been the top-performing region over the past 14 years. Prices in the capital have more than doubled (+103%) since 2008, taking the cost of an average home to £543,280. This price increase is more than triple that recorded in the slowest-growing region, the North East. There, average prices have risen only 32% since 2008 to £164,750.
The capital’s outperformance has widened the gap between prices there and in the rest of the country. The average home in London now costs £244,500, or 82%, more than the Great Britain average, up from a difference of £99,440, or 59%, in 2008. More recently, however, prices in London have been rising at a slower pace than the rest of the country, which has meant that the price gap has closed since its 2006 peak, in both cash and percentage terms.
Drilling down to a local authority level, there is only one local authority in Great Britain where the average property costs less than it did 14 years ago: Aberdeen City. Here, the average home costs £14,170, or 9%, less than it did in 2008 due to a slump in the North Sea energy industry, which caused local property prices to crash.
At the other end of scale, Kensington & Chelsea, in central London, has seen the biggest price growth in cash terms since 2008, with the average home rising in value by a staggering £614,480 to £1.39m. However, in percentage terms, Waltham Forest tops the list with 140% price growth – this northeast London borough now has an average property price of £306,450.
There are 27 local authorities in Great Britain where house values have at least doubled since 2008. After Waltham Forest comes Cambridge, with 127% growth, followed by Hackney (118%) and Haringey (117%) – both of these two London boroughs used to be relatively affordable but have seen vast price growth on the back of large regeneration, gentrification and infrastructure projects.
Apart from the Shetland Islands (115%) and Trafford, Greater Manchester (105%), all the locations where prices have at least doubled are in the southern half of England. Many are in London boroughs or in commuter towns such as Epsom (103%) and St Albans (102%).
The impact of Covid has meant that detached homes have seen the strongest price growth this cycle, with the price of the average detached home in Great Britain rising 85% since 2008 to £473,090. Flats have been the weakest performers, with average prices up by 58% to £233,580.
The recent rise in interest rates probably points to slower price growth over the short to medium term, potentially encompassing the start of next house price cycle. While homeowenership brings with it many advantages, the potential for significant increases in house prices won't necesserily always be a one way bet.