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Which areas have seen biggest house price rises during pandemic?

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The areas of Britain that have seen the biggest house price rises during the pandemic have been revealed exclusively to MailOnline Property

Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, and Banbury in Oxfordshire top the list compiled by Halifax and have seen prices rocket by £100,000 – or more than a third.

The analysis, based on places with house sales of at least 100, covers the period from the beginning of March last year to the end of February 2021. 

Also in the top 10 are Chorley in Lancashire, Leamington Spa in Warwickshire and Salisbury in Wiltshire, indicating that big rises have been seen across the country. 

Scroll down to the bottom of the story to see the full list of 100 areas where prices are up 12 per cent or more

We reveal where house prices have risen the most since the first lockdown in March last year

We reveal where house prices have risen the most since the first lockdown in March last year

This three-bed house in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk is for sale for u00A3281,250 via estate agents WIlliam H Brown

This three-bed house in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk is for sale for £281,250 via estate agents WIlliam H Brown

House prices have risen the most in Bury St Edmunds, increasing 37 per cent on average from £267,217 to £367,421 during the past year.

The pretty cathedral town in Suffolk is known for its Abbey Gardens and boasts hundreds of hanging baskets and pots in bloom during the spring and summer.

It is followed closely by Banbury, which has seen average house prices rise 36 per cent, from £283,830 to £385,556.

In third position is King’s Lynn, where average values are up 28 per cent in a year, from £232,586 to £298,399. 

None of the top 10 locations are in London. However, parts of the capital do feature in the longer list of the 100 locations with the highest house prices rises during the past year.

They are at the bottom, with the north London borough of Haringey ranked in position 98 and the north west London borough of Brent ranked in position 100.

This three-bed terrace house in Banbury,u00A0Oxfordshire, is for sale for u00A3275,000 via estate agents Connells

This three-bed terrace house in Banbury, Oxfordshire, is for sale for £275,000 via estate agents Connells

It comes as Britain approaches the anniversary of the first lockdown on 23 March, a period that has seen a sledgehammer taken to the jobs market.

Many industries suffered a bigger fall in vacancies during 2020 than in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

And yet unlike the 2008 crisis and the economic downturn at that time, during the past year the average price of a house has risen.

The typical value of a home in Britain is up 12 per cent, from £285,428 to £320,457, during the past year, according to Halifax.

This four-bed house in King's Lynn, Norfolk, is for sale for u00A3280,000 via estate agents William H Brown

This four-bed house in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, is for sale for £280,000 via estate agents William H Brown

HOUSE PRICES RISES IN EACH REGION DURING THE PAST YEAR
Mar-20
(Average £)
Feb-21
(Average £)
Mar 20 – Feb 2021 Change %
South West 280,588 327,061 17%
East Anglia 276,291 317,844 15%
North West 206,362 236,197 14%
East Midlands 224,122 256,103 14%
West Midlands 231,291 263,661 14%
Yorkshire and Humberside 196,241 221,833 13%
South East 380,469 428,601 13%
Wales 191,309 214,150 12%
North 174,322 191,893 10%
Northern Ireland 167,843 180,483 8%
Greater London 538,909 567,788 5%
Scotland 190,250 194,086 2%
UK 285,428 320,457 12%
Source: Halifax       

Halifax also revealed the average house price increases in each region, with the South West ranked top with a 17 per cent rise from March last year to February this year.

It reflects the desire for more outdoor and indoor space during the past year as the restrictions of successive lockdowns have taken their toll.

Andrew Asaam, of Halifax, said: ‘Like a lot of things about last year, it would have been difficult to predict the places where we’d see the biggest house price growth, especially while everything shut down in the first lockdown.

‘Towns like Bury St Edmonds, Kings Lynn in Norfolk and Banbury in Oxfordshire have seen the biggest jump in house prices over the past year, while further north, Chorley and Huddersfield have also seen significant increases.

‘More time spent at home over the past 12 months has also helped fuel a desire for properties with more space and broadened the scope for how people think about certain locations, as work-life balance has shifted for buyers and sellers during 2020.

‘We saw a surge in the market over the second half of last year following the effective shutdown of the first lockdown, as well as people racing to benefit from the stamp duty holiday.’

WHEN DOES THE STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY END?

The amount at which stamp duty is paid was temporarily increased by the Government last summer, to £500,000 for property sales in England and Northern Ireland.

The tax break was due to end on March 31, but  the Chancellor announced in the Budget that it will now end on June 30.

After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September. Stamp duty will then return to the usual level of £125,000. 

This four-bed semi-detached house in Buckshaw Village, Chorley, is for sale for 190,000 via Strike estate agents

This four-bed semi-detached house in Buckshaw Village, Chorley, is for sale for 190,000 via Strike estate agents

LIST OF PLACES WITH THE BIGGEST HOUSE PRICES RISES IN THE PAST YEAR
  Mar-20
(Average £)
Feb-21
(Average £)
Mar 20 – Feb 21 Change %
BURY ST EDMUNDS 267,217 367,421 37%
BANBURY 283,830 385,556 36%
KING’S LYNN 232,586 298,399 28%
CHORLEY 188,206 240,906 28%
LEAMINGTON SPA 316,029 402,245 27%
HEREFORD 237,786 300,059 26%
MACCLESFIELD 298,791 371,531 24%
SALISBURY 313,248 388,238 24%
HUDDERSFIELD 187,221 231,920 24%
CHELTENHAM 322,648 396,885 23%
NEWTON ABBOT 251,329 309,040 23%
AYR 154,515 189,879 23%
STOURBRIDGE 259,458 316,675 22%
BURTON ON TRENT 210,966 257,397 22%
GREAT YARMOUTH 191,488 232,531 21%
CHESTERFIELD 184,580 223,300 21%
SOUTHEND ON SEA 280,556 336,760 20%
HOVE 409,519 491,304 20%
SOUTH SHIELDS 146,932 175,672 20%
GRANTHAM 228,843 273,594 20%
TAUNTON 249,151 297,599 19%
WALSALL 189,032 225,756 19%
TELFORD 197,203 234,914 19%
GLOUCESTER 241,136 286,881 19%
POOLE 309,241 367,758 19%
FAREHAM 296,283 351,651 19%
WOKING 497,775 590,624 19%
SCUNTHORPE 142,878 169,153 18%
DARLINGTON 169,348 200,313 18%
WIRRAL 228,040 269,725 18%
NEWARK 209,881 247,751 18%
ALTRINCHAM 402,181 474,335 18%
Islington (LA) 665,051 783963.4279 18%
DONCASTER 161,452 190,288 18%
WESTON SUPER MARE 226,748 267,050 18%
STOKE ON TRENT 165,137 194,299 18%
GILLINGHAM (KENT) 259,084 304,767 18%
SWADLINCOTE 197,532 231,113 17%
DUNSTABLE 280,929 328,440 17%
MAIDSTONE 295,426 345,313 17%
EASTBOURNE 261,108 305,112 17%
BEDFORD 331,172 386,688 17%
ASHFORD (KENT) 314,571 366,812 17%
WIDNES 173,004 201,627 17%
BRIDGWATER 224,932 261,930 16%
WORTHING 328,787 382,803 16%
STOCKPORT 271,530 315,503 16%
MANCHESTER 204,975 237,517 16%
NUNEATON 210,761 243,744 16%
BLACKBURN 143,342 165,486 15%
BOLTON 168,616 194,521 15%
CANTERBURY 317,908 366,586 15%
KETTERING 240,438 276,836 15%
COLCHESTER 304,015 349,752 15%
BIRMINGHAM 207,402 238,489 15%
LEICESTER 238,149 273,368 15%
NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME 174,906 200,656 15%
WREXHAM 187,277 214,751 15%
GRAVESEND 311,216 356,466 15%
NEWTOWNABBEY 142,518 163,201 15%
WARRINGTON 222,755 254,718 14%
WATERLOOVILLE 319,090 364,485 14%
BURNLEY 143,786 164,096 14%
HIGH WYCOMBE 409,285 466,959 14%
WOKINGHAM 470,415 536,095 14%
LINCOLN 219,282 249,790 14%
BRIGHTON 387,281 441,104 14%
TUNBRIDGE WELLS 462,906 527,137 14%
SLOUGH 411,830 468,856 14%
ST ALBANS 546,492 621,867 14%
COVENTRY 217,500 247,120 14%
SOLIHULL 382,713 434,735 14%
WOLVERHAMPTON 202,131 229,589 14%
ELY 294,030 333,893 14%
LEEDS 226,939 257,637 14%
DERBY 209,554 237,787 13%
WAKEFIELD 200,920 227,944 13%
HARLOW 298,891 339,055 13%
GATESHEAD 152,713 173,197 13%
SITTINGBOURNE 264,607 299,592 13%
MILTON KEYNES 326,609 369,656 13%
CHIPPENHAM 314,157 355,398 13%
OLDHAM 178,157 201,530 13%
ILFORD 441,239 498,570 13%
NEWPORT (GWENT) 180,849 204,217 13%
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE 201,582 227,502 13%
EASTLEIGH 316,345 357,008 13%
PLYMOUTH 202,024 227,798 13%
NOTTINGHAM 213,856 241,030 13%
KEIGHLEY 183,542 206,568 13%
HARROGATE 325,272 365,914 12%
CRAWLEY 331,869 373,077 12%
ORPINGTON 483,028 542,656 12%
WORKSOP 154,126 173,053 12%
NORWICH 268,778 301,745 12%
Haringey (LA) 564,932 633,077 12%
SWANSEA 176,330 197,520 12%
Brent (LA) 548,088 613,783 12%
Source: Halifax                         



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Ireland ‘one of world’s best five places’ to survive global societal collapse

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Ireland is one of the world’s five places best suited to survive a global collapse of society, according to a new study. The others are Iceland, Tasmania, the UK and, topping the list, New Zealand.

The researchers say human civilisation is “in a perilous state” because of the highly interconnected and energy-intensive society that has developed and the environmental damage this has caused.

A collapse could arise from shocks such as a severe financial crisis, the effects of the climate crisis, destruction of nature, an even worse pandemic than Covid-19 or a combination of these, the scientists says.

To assess which nations would be most resilient to such a collapse, countries were ranked according to their ability to grow food for their population, protect their borders from unwanted mass migration, and maintain an electrical grid and some manufacturing ability. Islands in temperate regions and mostly with low population densities have come out on top.

The researchers say their study highlights the factors that nations must improve to increase resilience. They say that a globalised society that prizes economic efficiency has damaged resilience, and that spare capacity needs to exist in food and other vital sectors.

Billionaires have been reported to be buying land for bunkers in New Zealand in preparation for an apocalypse. “We weren’t surprised New Zealand was on our list,” says Prof Aled Jones, at the Global Sustainability Institute, at Anglia Ruskin University, in the UK.

“We chose that you had to be able to protect borders and places had to be temperate. So with hindsight it’s quite obvious that large islands with complex societies on them already” make up the list.

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, says: “The globe-spanning, energy-intensive industrial civilisation that characterises the modern era represents an anomalous situation when it is considered against the majority of human history.”

The study also says that environmental destruction, limited resources and population growth mean civilisation “is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour”.

New Zealand was found to have the greatest potential to survive relatively unscathed due to its geothermal and hydroelectric energy, abundant agricultural land and low human population density.

Jones says major global food losses, a financial crisis and a pandemic have all happened in recent years, and “we’ve been lucky that things haven’t all happened at the same time – there’s no real reason why they can’t all happen in the same year”.

He adds: “As you start to see these events happening I get more worried, but I also hope we can learn more quickly than we have in the past that resilience is important. With everyone talking about ‘building back better’ from the pandemic, if we don’t lose that momentum I might be more optimistic than I have been in the past.”

He says the coronavirus pandemic has shown that governments can act quickly when needed. “It’s interesting how quickly we can close borders, and how quickly governments can make decisions to change things.”

But, he adds, “This drive for just-in-time, ever-more-efficient economies isn’t the thing you want to do for resilience. We need to build in some slack in the system, so that if there is a shock then you have the ability to respond because you’ve got spare capacity. We need to start thinking about resilience much more in global planning. But, obviously, the ideal thing is that a quick collapse doesn’t happen.” – Guardian

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Couple who bought coach house reveal transformation on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations 

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A couple who bought a 19th-century coach house for £284,000 reveal their transformation of the property into a stunning family home on tonight’s episode of George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations. 

Childhood sweethearts Laura and Adrian, from Staffordshire, sold their own home, moved into a caravan and began renovating the derelict building into an Insta-worthy three bedroom house, with an added granny annex for Adrian’s parents Andrew and Elinor.

The couple, who appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight, initially wanted to renovate the 900 sq ft property within a £350,000 budget. 

But the build was hampered by difficulties from the outset, including delays with planning permission and the Covid-19 crisis, pushing their bill up to £450,000.   

BEFORE: Laura and Adrian, from Staffordshire, reveal their unrecognisable transformation of a 19th-century coach house into a stunning family home on George Clarke's Remarkable Renovations tonight. Pictured, the home property before the build

BEFORE: Laura and Adrian, from Staffordshire, reveal their unrecognisable transformation of a 19th-century coach house into a stunning family home on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations tonight. Pictured, the home property before the build

AFTER: At the end of the build the couple unveil their stunning contemporary home which oozes charm and character. The living space blends modern style with traditional features, keeping the building's style alive

AFTER: At the end of the build the couple unveil their stunning contemporary home which oozes charm and character. The living space blends modern style with traditional features, keeping the building’s style alive

BEFORE: Having been used as a coach-house for other people's caravans for the past decade, the building is in poor condition with rotten timbers and mismatched brickwork at the start of the project. Above, a room that becomes the living room

BEFORE: Having been used as a coach-house for other people’s caravans for the past decade, the building is in poor condition with rotten timbers and mismatched brickwork at the start of the project. Above, a room that becomes the living room 

AFTER: The couple went £100,000 over budget on the build after unexpected costs sprung up but were delighted with the final result, including this stylish living room complete with pops of colour and plush furniture

AFTER: The couple went £100,000 over budget on the build after unexpected costs sprung up but were delighted with the final result, including this stylish living room complete with pops of colour and plush furniture 

The property is situated in the grounds of what was the Cliff Hall estate in the village of Kingsbury, near Birmingham.  

When George first met the couple in June 2019, they had already been living in a caravan on the site for 18 months in order to save money.   

Laura, a project manager in forensics, revealed the family have already ‘put a lot of effort’ into the building given it was originally intended to store horses and has been completely empty for 10 years.

Having been used as a coach-house for other people’s caravans for the past decade, the building was in poor condition at the start of the project, with rotten timbers and mismatched brickwork. 

But it was ripe for renovation, with Adrian and Laura seeing it’s potential and pipping a developer to the post to buy it for £284,000. 

KITCHEN BEOFRE: The couple appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight as they reveal their hopes to transform the 900 sq ft property with a budget of just £350,000. Above, one of the derelict rooms with crumbling and uneven floors before

KITCHEN BEOFRE: The couple appear on the Channel 4 programme tonight as they reveal their hopes to transform the 900 sq ft property with a budget of just £350,000. Above, one of the derelict rooms with crumbling and uneven floors before

KITCHEN AFTER: Features including the exposed brick walls and wooden beams add a touch of character to the space, which is otherwise kitted out as a modern home perfect for family living

KITCHEN AFTER: Features including the exposed brick walls and wooden beams add a touch of character to the space, which is otherwise kitted out as a modern home perfect for family living

Laura and Adrian end up living in a caravan on the building site for three years in order to get the project finished - but they insist it has all been worth it

Laura and Adrian end up living in a caravan on the building site for three years in order to get the project finished – but they insist it has all been worth it 

The ground floor had two large spaces, with two small rooms squashed into the middle. Meanwhile upstairs is a wide open space.

Laura and Adrian planned to build a modern timber frame inside the old brick shell, allowing them to configure the space exactly to their needs. They also wanted to build a self-contained two bed annex connected to the main house, where Adrian’s parents Andrew and Elinor will live.

Andrew says: ‘It was one Saturday morning they came up and they bought pictures of this place they’d looked at. 

‘In the past, we considered a wild pipe dream of building  something as a family. They said, “If you sold your house and we sold ours and we steal your pension, we could do this”.’

Meanwhile Elinor jokes: ‘They said can we have your money basically.’

Understandably, the couple have high expectations, Elinor tells George: ‘I’m not compromising on kitchens and bathrooms.’

Meanwhile Andrew, who uses a mobility scooter, says the property will need to be on one level. 

The family carefully stockpiled everything from the demolition of the barn, including over 70,000 bricks, to save money.   

With planning permission finally granted, and the family aimed to get everyone in in 10 months, enlisting local contractors to help. 

They quickly spent £15,000 reinforcing the current foundations and pouring concrete into the building’s floor.    

HALLWAY AFTERWARDS: The stunning space is flooded with light, while Adrian's clever design and craftsmanship brings together contemporary elements with the traditional features of the barn (pictured, the hallway)

HALLWAY AFTERWARDS: The stunning space is flooded with light, while Adrian’s clever design and craftsmanship brings together contemporary elements with the traditional features of the barn (pictured, the hallway) 

However it was not long before they feel their budget dwindling, with Adrian confessing he had to let go of his local builders.

He says: ‘It’s a shame I haven’t got another £50,000 to let the guys crack on. Not at the rate they’re on. The problem was never going to be getting someone to build it, it was going to be me doing as much as I can to get my hands on.’

Meanwhile Laura confesses: ‘We’ve been here so long, it’s like what’s another few months to get it right.’

Two months later, winter arrives in Tamworth and living in a caravan begins to take it’s toll on the family.

Elinor says: ‘Caravan is getting a bit tired now, it’s looking a bit worn. It’d be nice to have space.’

Meanwhile Andrew adds: ‘Things  are going reasonably well, but things are looking a little bit tight. Adrian has been busy – it’s a compromise between how much time he’s at work and being justified to get others in on the budget.’

MASTER BEDROOM AFTERWARDS: The couple build timber beams into the property, creating a stunning barn style master bedroom. The luxurious space is a welcome change after months living in a caravan

MASTER BEDROOM AFTERWARDS: The couple build timber beams into the property, creating a stunning barn style master bedroom. The luxurious space is a welcome change after months living in a caravan

With the budget and schedule slipping, Adrian is doing more and more of the work himself.  

Andrew jokes: ‘Time is a big problem,  we said it would be finished by Christmas…but we didn’t specify which Christmas that would be.’

By February 2020, Laura is also feeling the strain of caravan life – having lived in one for over two years.

She says: ‘It is hard work. these past few months, we’ve really struggled with the weather. It’s the mud more than anything.’

Meanwhile the mother-of-two admits she feels the burden of building a home for her in-laws as well as her own dream property, saying: ‘I’m really lucky, we got on really well anyway but we’re feeling a huge sense of responsibility towards them. Basically they’ve invested everything they’ve got in us and the vision we had.’

She continues: ‘I’ve known Adrian since I was about eight and we’ve been together for 17 years. We lost Adrian’s brother a few years ago and it makes you re-evaluate things and you realise how important it is to have family around you. It puts a different perspective on life. This has bought us closer together for sure.’

One month later, the family were knocked sideways as the pandemic shut the site down. 

The couple ended up spending £100,000 over their initial budget in order to complete the stunning family home for their children and in-laws. Pictured, the dining space leads on from the kitchen and has an industrial-style picnic table

The couple ended up spending £100,000 over their initial budget in order to complete the stunning family home for their children and in-laws. Pictured, the dining space leads on from the kitchen and has an industrial-style picnic table 

Elinor tells the camera: ‘We’re doing okay, it’d be nice to move in. We haven’t all fallen out completely but there’s  been some arguments.’  

Laura and Adrian struggled to get building supplies amid the pandemic, with Laura saying: ‘It’s reordered the schedule of things. Some of the busy jobs we’d been hoping would happen, just haven’t’ been able to.’

By July 2020, the building was finally watertight. But the budget was gone. ‘A family member has managed to lend us £50,000…but there’s only £4,000 of that left,’ Adrian says on the programme.

‘But there is another £10,000 that will get the build done…It’s my mother’s own secret stash that was going to pay for her kitchen just to get the house finished.’

George says there was a ‘massive challenge’ to get the family into the building within two months and admits he is concerned about how much work there is still to be done. 

Meanwhile Laura and Adrian also create cosy single bedrooms for their two sons, which are joined together with a mezzanine for the children to play on (pictured)

Meanwhile Laura and Adrian also create cosy single bedrooms for their two sons, which are joined together with a mezzanine for the children to play on (pictured) 

However two months later, the couple unveiled their stunning contemporary home which oozes charm and character. 

The living space blends modern style with traditional features, keeping the building’s style alive.

Upstairs, the space is divided to give the children their own mirror image bedrooms with a mezzanine between the two.

Meanwhile the gorgeous master bedroom acts as the perfect upgrade from caravan living.

And downstairs, the adjourning annex for Adrian’s parents is an elegant new-build structure connected to the main house with a glazed walkway.

The couple confess the three year long build has been ‘more than worth it’, with Adrian saying: ‘I think we’re going to be around £450,000 build cost. I’ve done it for a reason, I’ve done it for the family. That’s what it’s about.’ 

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Dusty Hill, bassist for rock band ZZ Top, dies aged 72

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Dusty Hill, bassist for rock band ZZ Top, has died at the age of 72.

Hill, who had recently suffered a hip injury, died in his sleep, as confirmed by a statement on Instagram from band-mates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard.

“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” it read. “We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’. We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”

His recent injury had meant that Hill was forced to miss performances as part of the band’s summer tour. There have been no further details on cause of death.

ZZ Top’s first single was released in 1969 after the demise of Moving Sidewalks, the band that Gibbons had previously formed. Their first concert, with Hill included, was in 1970 and the year after their first album was released.

The band would go on to find fame with 15 albums and were best known for hits including 1983’s Gimme All Your Lovin’ and 1984’s Legs. In 1984, Hill also accidentally shot himself, something he remained lighthearted about years later.

“My first reaction was ‘s**t!’ and then ‘ouch!’ ” he said in a 2016 interview. “I couldn’t believe I’d done something so stupid. To this day, I don’t know how I could do it.”

As well as playing bass guitar, Hill also played keyboard and sung backing and lead vocals for the band. They were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

He made appearances in Back to the Future Part III and Deadwood and also played himself in King of the Hill.

“I don’t believe in regrets at all,” Hill also said in 2016. “What’s the point? There are things I’ve done that, if I had my time all over again, I would do differently – or not at all. But I am the sort of person who, once something’s done, just brushes it away and gets on with life.”

Tributes are coming in from the industry, including from Flea who referred to Hill as “a true rocker” and Go-Gos member Kathy Valentine who tweeted that Hill is “a Texas icon”. – Guardian

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