Nine out of 13 regions in the UK recorded a house price rise over 2011, in a year of contrasting fortunes ranging from a 5.4% increase in London to an 8.9% drop in Northern Ireland, mortgage lender Nationwide revealed today.
The annual increase across the UK was a "surprisingly resilient" 1.1%, pushing the price of a typical home to £163,822 over the year, despite a 0.2% month-on-month fall in December.
Nationwide says despite the encouraging figures in the face of high unemployment and "anaemic" economic growth, demand and supply remain weak, with mortgage approvals standing at around half their long-term levels.
Its report reveals Northern Ireland and London stood out over the past 12 months, with the sharp drop in house prices felt by Northern Ireland being a marked contrast to the relative stability seen overall.
Averaging £113,614, house prices in Northern Ireland have been slashed to half their 2007 peak and it was named as the area with the biggest drop for the fourth year in a row.
Homes in Northern Ireland have become more affordable than anywhere else in the UK however, with an average house price to earnings ratio of 4.1, down from 9.2 in 2007.
At the other end of the spectrum, typical prices in London are just shy of £300,000 and are 1.6% below their all-time high, compared with prices across the UK which are 10% below their peak levels.
London is also the least affordable region, with a house price to earnings ratio of 7.4.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide chief economist, says: "The 1% rise in house prices recorded over the past 12 months can hardly be described as a strong performance, but against a backdrop of anaemic economic growth and a deteriorating labour market, UK house prices are surprisingly resilient in 2011."
Here are the regional house price changes over the last year, with the average house price and percentage change:
- London, £298,216, 5.4%
- Outer Metropolitan (includes Hertfordshire, Windsor and Maidenhead), £247,058, 3.6%
- Yorkshire & Humberside, £134,467, 1.6%
- Outer South East (includes areas like Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Oxfordshire), £198,363, 1.6%
- Wales, £135,308, 1.5%
- East Anglia, £167,900, 1.5%
- East Midlands, £139,669, 0.6%
- South West, £184,316, 0.6%
- West Midlands, £146,109, 0.3%
- Scotland, £136,347, -0.8%
- North, £115,716, -1%
- North West, £135,427, -1.2%
- Northern Ireland, £113,614, -8.9%
- UK, £164,785, 1.1%