St Albans named as one of UK’s housing market losers as property prices drop

Property prices fell by 5.1 per cent in St Albans in the year to December 2018

Property prices fell by 5.1 per cent in St Albans in the year to December 2018 - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Property prices in St Albans are falling faster than almost anywhere else in the country, a new study has shown.

According to analysis of Land Registry data by Gatehouse Bank, St Albans’ average house price fell by 5.1 per cent (£27,031) to £501,817 in the year to December 2018.

Outside London, only Aberdeen and Eastbourne experienced bigger falls in prices (6.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively), while Watford was fourth on the list with a 3.1 per cent dip.

Newport in South Wales saw the biggest year-on-year increase at 10.6 per cent while Southwark was the best performing London borough (4.7 per cent) and the City of Westminster was the worst (-10.1 per cent).

East Hertfordshire was the best performing part of Herts, with growth of 4.9 per cent.

Andrew Bradford of Bradford & Howley, who have offices in St Albans, Harpenden and Marshalswick, said that the data broadly reflects what’s been happening locally over the last year – though not without exception.

He said: “We have certainly seen a correction over the last 12 months and this has affected one and two bedroom apartments the most. Houses near to good schools and travel links have fared a lot better.

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“We see prices for the coming year remaining stable as motivated buyers are out there.”

Charles Haresnape, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, said 2018 was “an unpredictable year” for house prices and “in the end, although the market only just outpaced inflation on the whole, there were still some stand out performances.”

He added: “Poor performances like that seen in Aberdeen, which fell 6.5 per cent, are proof that the cocktail of economic uncertainty, lack of incentives and cheap borrowing are creating a heady mix of outcomes across the country.”