House price growth in cities ‘outstripping’ increases in surrounding areas

Values in cities are rising at a faster rate than their outskirts - but there are exceptions

An aerial view of an urban street in London
(Image credit: Getty images)

The latest UK house prices have risen again despite economic turmoil, leaving many to weigh up if now is a good time to buy a house. We explain how price growth differs across cities and suburban areas.

House prices in cities have soared as prices in the suburbs have struggled to keep up, according to new research.

Analysis from Halifax shows that since the start of the year, as people have gradually returned to the office, property prices across UK cities have typically grown by 9.2%, compared with 7.9% growth on average in surrounding areas.

Andrew Asaam, mortgages director at Halifax, said a trend of people looking for greener spaces to move to, which was seen early on in the coronavirus pandemic, had partly remained.

He said: “That trend didn’t disappear completely this year, as house price growth in these areas remained strong. But, as daily life started to get back to normal for many, the opportunity to live in cities became more attractive again, driving up demand.”

There are exceptions to the trend. In the surrounding areas of Birmingham, house prices have risen faster in percentage terms than in the city itself. Walsall, for example, in north-west Birmingham, has seen property price inflation of 16.4% so far this year.

And in the North East of England, Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough have also recorded weaker house price growth this year so far than their surrounding areas.

Asaam says the extent to which trends will continue to shape the housing market is therefore uncertain. “Clearly the economic environment has changed considerably in the last few months, with the likelihood of more significant downward pressure on house prices, as the cost-of-living squeeze and higher borrowing costs limit demand.”

House price changes in your area

Here are average house prices in January 2022, followed by September 2022, the percentage increase and average growth in surrounding areas (the local authority areas that directly surround the cities), according to Halifax:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CityAv. house price January ‘22Av. house price September ‘22% increase% increase in surrounding area
Cardiff£235,084 £250,5666.6%7.0%
Edinburgh £245,107£276,83112.9%6.1%
Glasgow £159,770 £173,3318.5%4.6%
Middlesbrough £146,612 £143,369minus 2.2%7.8%
Nottingham £183,866£199,4678.5% 9.1%
Sunderland£131,158£138,088 5.3%10.9%

Additional reporting by Press Association

Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.