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Which areas have seen biggest house price rises during pandemic?



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

(Average £)
(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.’


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

(Average £)
(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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Real Estate

Madison International Realty invests in London Salesforce Tower (GB)



Madison International Realty has acquired a minority stake in the Salesforce Tower, London EC2, through a Jersey Property Unit Trust (JPUT), joining other investors including Heron International.


The 230-metre tower, completed in 2011 at 110 Bishopsgate, is an island site in the City of London and provides 441,000ft² of office space over 37 floors. The property is over 93% let to a range of tenants, the largest of which is Salesforce. The Salesforce Tower also has an outstanding food and beverage offering with Duck and Waffle and Sushi Samba at the very top and the Drift on the ground floor. The building has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for design.


The asset’s central location in the core of the City of London means it benefits from excellent transport connectivity, with Liverpool Street and Bank within a short walking distance. Similarly, there are a large number of new world-class food, drink and entertainment options nearby including the new Pan Pacific hotel adjacent at Heron Plaza and Eataly in Broadgate. In January 2021, an ING-led syndicate of lenders completed a €465.2m (£400m), five-year refinancing of the Tower.


Alex Lukesch, Managing Director at Madison International Realty commented on the investment: “This acquisition has allowed us to secure a stake in a prominent London office building, which we believe delivers space that meets the demands of modern occupiers looking for world-class offices in one of the world’s leading financial centres. The investment reflects our conviction in the ongoing resilience of the office sector and the role we believe it will play post-pandemic. We have observed that demand for quality, well-located space remains robust, while companies are increasingly looking for properties that also have strong ESG credentials to help meet their own sustainability targets. In Heron, we believe we have an experienced and highly regarded partner and we look forward to working with them on this venture.”

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Britain’s blossoming love for Japanese design in the home



The design has a red lid and a narrow neck which widens to form a base of sturdy hips. When poured, the contents flow in a singular, uninterrupted stream.

The Kikkoman bottle hasn’t changed since it was designed in 1961 by Kenji Ekuan for the world’s largest soy sauce producer.

Simplicity has made it ubiquitous. And crucially, it works — think of wrestling with glass Heinz ketchup bottles or constantly wiping lids on plastic iterations. Likely, Kikkoman’s bottle is the reason we’re so familiar with soy sauce.

Serene: A contemporary Japanese-style sitting room. The country's influence can be seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes

Serene: A contemporary Japanese-style sitting room. The country’s influence can be seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes

In the introduction to her book Japanese Design Since 1945 (£35, Thames & Hudson), Naomi Pollock writes: ‘In Japan, good design is everywhere. But most of all, it’s in the home.’

The trend for Japanese-inspired, UK-based brands, such as Wagamama, Superdry and Yo! Sushi, is well worn, but the country’s influence is likely seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes.

Inspired idea 

The Japanese approach to design is summed up well by a single product – Muji’s right angle sock (from £3.50, 

As the foot is perpendicular to the leg, the sock should follow the shape of the body: design centres on the user rather than the designer.

The word ‘Muji’ translates as ‘without brand’ and the company invites (often renowned) designers to create reasonably priced products anonymously. 

Design guru Naoto Fukasawa is an adviser to Muji, and his wall-mounted CD player for the company (£149) is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Naoto Fukasawa's butterfly-inspired Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair (£2,869,

Naoto Fukasawa’s butterfly-inspired Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair (£2,869,

In the UK, Chaplins stocks a large selection of products from Japan, including some from the designer.

‘The idea is to create designs that appear to have been sculpted by the elements,’ says Ludovic Aublanc, creative director at Chaplins. ‘It’s the kind of minimalism that brims with emotion, that makes you grateful and happy to come home.’

The company stocks Fukasawa’s butterfly-inspired Papilio range – chairs and sofas sporting headset ‘wings’ to protect the user’s head (Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair, £2,869,

Simple seating

Japanese designers have described the chair as the centre of design and an extension of the human form. It follows that these things should be easy on both the body and the eye.

Habitat’s Mori charcoal two-seater sofa (£716, certainly fits the bill. It is compact, unfussy and elegant with its plush curved armrests and contrasting thin, wooden legs.

Simple unfinished woodwork is a key part of design in Japan, like the solid oak dining chairs from Oak Furnitureland (£140, which would pair well with the Japanese oak Castor Table by Karimoku New Standard (£1,169,

Clutter free

Last year, decluttering guru Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her hit Netflix show. The programme has been talked of plenty, but we’re perhaps unaware of how key these principles are to Japanese design.

A large part of the focus on user-friendly products comes down to space. As ever, it’s important for Muji, with its storage bed (from £299) which has spacious drawers to banish clutter. Loaf has the Woody storage bed (from £995,

Simple boxy shelving units such as the Ikea Kallax range (from £15, are practical, but can also be used for displaying plants, books and records.

Or, for a modern twist, try the John Lewis Dice shelving unit bookcase (£450, The company also stocks Japanese brand Like-it’s clear storage products (from £8).

Crockery that rocks 

Japanese pottery has long been a feature of our homes, and a collection by John Lewis is a nod to this. Inspired by woodblock prints, the range includes glassware, plates, mugs and even Christmas decorations. 

It’s all delicate, bright patterns and the infuser mugs by Tokyo Design Studio (from £25) are a highlight.

But elegant motifs are only part of the story. The earthy charcoals, whites and beiges of Hasami Porcelain ( are a calming, elegant addition to any kitchen.

Hasami teapots start from £65 and mugs from £22 ( – also pick up a copy of Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book Of Tea, written in 1906, an insight into the Japanese ritual of tea-making. Elsewhere, an Oriental Hobnail tea set costs from £22.98 (

For eating, Denby Pottery has Japanese-inspired bowls from £58 for four in grey and white (

Finally, being able to serve Japan’s other favourite drink – the highball – is a must. Try LSA’s Mia Highball glasses (£27 for four, or, for something cheaper, a set of six Duralex Prisme highballs is £11.99 at

Then grab a bottle of Akashi whisky (£28.50,, add ice, stir clockwise 13 times, add soda water, stir again and appreciate another example of elegance and simplicity in Japanese design.

What your home really needs is… a Christmas throw

At this time of year, people fall into two groups: those who believe more is more, with bright lights and decorations aplenty; and others who keep things simple, with a few holly sprigs and a carefully adorned tree.

Yuletide luxury: You could use this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw, £99.50, all year round

Yuletide luxury: You could use this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw, £99.50, all year round

But whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist, your home will need a Christmas throw because someone in your festive bubble is bound to complain about being cold.

If glitter is your thing, you’ll like the fleece star throw from Marks & Spencer (£25, marksand 

Or snuggle up under Dunelm’s red cable-knit design with a fleecey inside (£60,

For something more fun, Redbubble has one that reads: ‘This is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching blanket’ (£34.73,

Going low-key? How about a white and grey reindeer pattern with red pompoms (£40, barkerand 

Or this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw , £99.50, notonthe, which you could use all year round.

Anne Ashworth 

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Extending grace period on checks in North would be ‘problematic’ – Taoiseach



Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said it will be “very problematic” if the UK again extends unilaterally the grace period for Northern Ireland Protocol checks.

But speaking on the Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme on Sky News, Mr Martin also insisted a breakthrough between the EU and UK was still possible “if there’s a will there on both sides”.

His comments came after Boris Johnson escalated his dispute with the European Union by warning he will do whatever it takes to keep goods flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Following talks with the EU’s key figures on Saturday, the British prime minister said he would not hesitate to take unilateral action to protect the position of Northern Ireland in the increasingly bitter row over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

The row – dubbed the “sausage war” – could mean chilled meats will not be shipped across the Irish Sea because of EU rules after the end of the month.

The UK is considering extending the current grace period without the consent of Brussels to ensure that sausages and mince can continue to reach Northern Ireland’s shops.

But Mr Martin told Sky News that the “channels do exist to get this resolved”.

He added: “In particular, the Sefcovic/Frost process should be fully explored and optimised to get an agreement and I think the prospects, in my view, if there’s a will there on both sides, and there is a will there from the European Union side I know that, I detect from the British prime minister Boris Johnson that the British government is anxious to get a resolution of this, so I think we should work at it.”

Mr Martin said he believed an SPS agreement (on plant and animal health measures) could remove 80 per cent of protocol checks.

When asked about the possibility of the UK unilaterally extending the grace period for checks, Mr Martin said: “I think it will be very problematic because it’s not about sausages per se, it really is about the fact that an agreement had been entered into, not too long ago, signed off by the British government with the European Union.

“If there’s consistent, unilateral deviation from that agreement, that clearly undermines the broader relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which is in nobody’s interest and therefore that’s why the UK with the EU have to work very hard now in the coming weeks.

“I know the European Union are anxious to resolve this and want to resolve it but they need to see a similar reciprocity from the UK side.”

When asked if the protocol is undermining Northern Ireland’s place within the UK, Mr Martin said: “We’ve never seen the Protocol as a constitutional issue, it doesn’t in any way interfere with the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as defined and articulated in the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement.

“We’re very clear from the Irish Government perspective on that, but we do believe in seamless trade on the island of Ireland, it makes sense. We believe in seamless trade insofar as we possibly can between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.”

‘A bit of respect’

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab accused EU leaders of trying to undermine the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

After talks at the G7 summit in Cornwall between Boris Johnson and key EU figures failed to achieve a breakthrough in the dispute over the implementation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in Northern Ireland, Mr Raab said the EU was showing a lack of respect.

“What we cannot have is the continuing disruption of trade and effectively try to change the status of Northern Ireland, contrary to the consent and wishes of the people, which is not just contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol but also to the Belfast Agreement,” he told Mr Phillips on Sky News.

“We have serially seen senior EU figures talk about Northern Ireland as if it was some kind of different country to the UK. It is not only offensive, it has real-world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland, creates great concern, great consternation.

“Could you imagine if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as different countries. We need a bit of respect here.– PA

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