City homes beat towns' price growth

This Is Lancashire: New figures suggest there is an increasing demand for urban living New figures suggest there is an increasing demand for urban living

Demand for urban living has caused house prices in cities to rise by more than towns over the past decade, research has revealed.

Sale prices for city properties have increased by 38% since 2002, while towns notched up growth of 29%, according to the Halifax Cities Review.

The figures show towns awarded city status by the Queen to mark the millennium, the Golden Jubilee and the Diamond Jubilee outperformed the country as a whole.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: "There is certainly an increasing demand for urban living. There are more jobs and it is more convenient. Whether it is something that will be sustained remains to be seen."

Since the housing market crash of 2007, city homes have seen a 17% price cut, beating the rest of the UK which has seen prices fall by 23%.

Cities - defined as a "large" town or one with a cathedral - recorded the sharpest rise in prices in Scotland and northern England, with four Scottish cities in the top five.

Aberdeen prices have risen the most since 2002 with a 94% increase, benefiting from the importance of the oil sector to the local economy. Inverness homes are up 81%, Dundee 73% and Perth 70%.

Houses in Bradford and Hull recorded the highest growth in England, with 77% and 68% respectively. Lowest growth was recorded in Northern Ireland and the South East, with Southampton, Oxford and Chelmsford all in the bottom 10.

According to Mr Ellis, traditionally cheaper northern cities are providing an increasingly appealing home for jobseekers in the current economic climate, compared with high-profile cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, which have not recorded a notably steep rise in prices.

He added that the majority of towns awarded city status to mark special occasions, such as Brighton & Hove and Wolverhampton, have benefited from this increasing appeal and outperformed their region.

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