£7,586 buys you a car… or 1m2 in Westminster

It is the only city within Greater London to feature in the top 10 most expensive cities in the UK. This is more than twice the price of the next most expensive city – St. Albans (£3,227 per m2) – and four and half times higher than the UK average (£1,668 per m2).

Items with a similar price tag include:

A new Volkswagen Fox: £7,295
Family holiday of a lifetime to Barbados: £5,000-£10,000
Or for the cost of around 2m2 you can hire Downtown Abbey (Highclere Castle) for your wedding: £12,000 +VAT

Southern cities most expensive on price per m2…

The next most expensive cities are Oxford (£2,821 per m2), Winchester (£2,813 per m2), Chichester (£2,638 per m2) and Cambridge (£2,634). The only city in the ten most expensive from outside southern England is Edinburgh (£2,125 per m2).

In northern England, York is the most expensive city with an average price per m2 of £1,830, followed by Worcester (£1,730 per m2) and Chester (£1,636 per m2). Cardiff (£1,504 per m2) and Belfast (£1,064 per m2) top the list in Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

With a value of £817 per m2, Londonderry is the UK’s least expensive city; followed by Lisburn (£945 per m2) on this measure. The two Northern Ireland towns are followed by Hull (£1,027 per m2), Bradford (£1,042 per m2) and Swansea (£1,063 per m2).

But, smaller towns in Scotland and northern England have the highest house price growth per square metre…

Eight of the top ten towns –with the highest house price growth on a per square metre (m2) basis over the last decade are in Scotland. Ellon in Aberdeenshire recorded the largest gain over the past ten years – an increase of 169% from £752 per m2 in 2002 to £2,022 per m2 in 2012. This rate of growth is four times more than the UK as a whole, where the average price has risen by 43% – up from £1,170 per m2 to £1,668 per m2 – since 2002. Strong economic growth over the decade as a whole has also helped to drive up prices in many of those areas that have seen substantial price gains.

Five towns with the smallest rises since 2002 are in Northern Ireland and southern England…

The smallest price gain was in Newtonards in Northern Ireland where the average price per m2 rose by 5% from £871 per m2 to £915 per m2. Lisburn saw the next smallest rise (8%), followed by Belfast (11%) and Newtonabbey (16%).

There are three towns in southern England amongst the ten towns with the lowest increase in price per square meter; Chigwell in Essex (17%), Andover in Hampshire (19%) and Swindon (21%).

Only 24 towns – led by Ellon and five London boroughs – have seen an increase in price since 2007 …

Whilst the average price per m2 has fallen in the UK by a fifth (21%) since 2007, 24 towns (including London boroughs) have bucked this trend and currently have a price that is higher than five years’ ago. The largest rises since 2007 have been in Ellon (26%), followed by five London boroughs; Islington (20%), Camden (17%), Westminster (16%), Hackney (13%) and Hammersmith and Fulham (12%).

Average property size: For a larger property head North…

Armagh in Northern Ireland has the largest average property size in the UK, at 153 m2. Dunmow in Essex has the second highest average (141 m2).
Westminster has the smallest average property size in the UK, at 71 m2; less than 50% of the average in Armagh. Nine of the ten areas with the smallest average property size are in Greater London.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented:

"House price per square metre is a useful measure for house price comparison because it helps to adjust for differences in the size and type of properties between locations.

”Several towns in Aberdeenshire have seen significantly higher growth in average price per m2 than the UK average over the past decade; this, on the main, has been driven by the booming oil industry, which is a key part of the local economy.

"Westminster has the most expensive prices in the UK on a price per square metre. Interestingly, it also has the smallest average property size in the country. Not only has Westminster got one of the highest population densities per square kilometre among UK cities, but it also has a large proportion of properties that are flats".

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