Dorset outperforms London and tops the county league for price growth for family homes in 2014
Four bedroom family homes in Dorset top the price growth tables, beating London and the home counties, according to new research for national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide. Prices for houses with four bedrooms in Dorset showed 19 per cent growth, against 18 per cent in South-east London, 13 per cent in North-east London and 12 per cent in North-west London. Surrey and Cambridgeshire were in fifth place at 12 per cent, followed by Buckinghamshire at 11 per cent, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire at 10 per cent. However, central London remained the most expensive, with a six per cent average increase in price to 4,624,918. The average price of a four bedroom house in Dorset is 618,156. In the top 10 table for price growth for detached homes, North-west London was first at 15 per cent, with Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire close behind. Greater Manchester showed growth of 10 per cent, along with Dorset and Cambridgeshire. The research into the performance of house prices by county in 2014 in England and Wales for Jackson-Stops & Staff, which has more than a century of experience in the prime property market, showed that Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey are the top performing counties across all price ranges outside London. with double digit average price growth and strong price inflation across the whole range of property stock. In Hertfordshire, average asking prices reached 636,368 in December, up from 569,870 the previous year whereas Oxfordshire has seen year on year price growth of 15 per cent, just below Greater London at 16 per cent. Surrey meanwhile, has seen average asking prices rise to 732,235. Counties including Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire and Berkshire all displayed nine per cent annual average price inflation, highlighting wider levels of recovery throughout southern England, with strong price growth beyond London and the Home Counties. This is a positive message for those counties outside of the traditional commuter belt, with steady growth recorded in Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. While Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire performed well in all property sectors, the top performing counties differed depending on property type and bedroom count. In terms of first time buyers of one or two bedroom properties, there are six counties appearing in the top 10 for both counties - Hertfordshire, Warwickshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire, excluding London. Berkshire saw a 12 per cent and 18 per cent rise in asking prices for one and two bedroom properties respectively, whereas West Sussex recorded 11 per cent and 10 per cent respective price growth. While Wales and Northern England have seen stagnation or deflation of up to -3 per cent, price growth is slowly dispersing across the UK with levels of steady growth beginning to creep into the Midlands and beyond. The area is set to see rising property values and economic growth, thanks to Government plans for increased investment in infrastructure, which should have positive repercussions in the next few years. Nicholas Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops and Staff, comments: The economic recovery remains on track but is still fragile in areas of the country well away from London and the south east. Although there is clear evidence of a slowdown in some parts of Central London, this research shows much to be positive about in 2015. Some counties in South-east England have recorded growth just shy of the levels experienced in London and this is having a knock on effect further afield, with counties such as Dorset, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, outside of the traditional commuter belt experiencing steady levels of growth. The data was sourced from in December 2014 by Insight Advantage for Jackson-Stops & Staff and is based on average asking prices.