Figures released by the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry revealed property values increased 2.5 percent in the year to December – the lowest annual rate since July 2013 when there was 2.3 percent growth. The report said at the end of last year, the average UK house price was £231,000, marking the latest fall over the past two years, driven predominantly by a slowdown in the south east of England. Price increased 5.5 in Northern Ireland, 5.2 percent in Wales, 2.4 percent in Scotland, and most notably, just 2.3 percent in England.
In London, where house values are easily the highest, prices have fallen in each month since last July.
Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former residential chairman of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, said: “The market continues to be underpinned by a shortage of available property and very low interest rates.
“However, in order to successfully transact, realistic sellers need to make their properties compelling in terms of price, presentation or both, in order to engage with fewer but more pragmatic purchasers.”
Now new research from OkayLah.co.uk has revealed which towns across England offer homes at the best value for money.
A bews survey has revealed the best and worst towns in England to buy a house
The online property search engine combined the total number of crimes committed per 100 people across each council region, and compared this to the average house price before calculating each area with an index score.
The research revealed North Kesteven in the East Midlands as the best place to buy a home in England, with an average house price of £208,230 and just five crimes committed per 100 people living there, scoring 1,041.
Broadland in Norfolk (1,085), Eden in Cumbria (1,111), Staffordshire Moorlands (1,114) and Bolster in Derbyshire (1,124) also scored highly.
Copeland in western Cumbria (1,136), Hillingdon in London (1,155), Richmondshire (1,164), North East Derbyshire (1,238) and Forest Dean in Gloucestershire (1,259) completed the top 10.
The research showed London takes top four places in the worst areas to buy a a house in England.
North Kesteven was revealed as the best place to buy in England
The City of London is out on its own at the top, with an average house price of £1.17million and 55 crimes per 100 people, giving it an index score of 64,339.
Westminster (22,747), Kensington and Chelsea (15,192) and Camden (7,896) followed.
Cambridge, with an average house price of £535,571 and a crime rate of 13 crimes for every 100 people, makes the town the worst place to buy in England outside the capital, with an index score of 6,962.
South Buckinghamshire (6,047), Watford (5,791), Hammersmith and Fulham (5,556), Elmbridge in Surrey (5,414) and Epping Forest in Essex (5,333) complete the top 10 worst list.
Hillingdon is London’s best place to buy, with an average house price of £441,563 and just three crimes committed for every 100 people.
The City of London was revealed as the worst place to buy a house
Harrow, Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Havering, Sutton, Hounslow, Croydon, Lewisham and Ealing complete the top 10.
OkayLah.co.uk founder and chief executive Paul Telford said: “While price is always one of the initial criteria when deciding where to buy, the safety of an area is right up there in the decision-making process, particularly for those either starting or already with a young family.
“Unfortunately, affordability and low crime levels rarely go hand in hand, but as always, by doing your research you can find a compromise that will provide a certain degree of both.
“We recommend looking at crime statistics, reading back through local news, visiting an area at different times of day and even talking to the neighbours or other locals, to ascertain a more granular view of where you might like to buy.
“But as with most things, crime is an unfortunate part of our society and the level of crime in an area shouldn’t be the only or deciding factor on buying that dream house.”