LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Average flat rises by £394 a month over last decade

Average flat rises by £394 a month over last decade

Flats and terraced houses have been the most popular property type over the past 10 years, rising in value by around one-third since 2003.

That is more than double the rate of growth for the average detached home, according to new Halifax figures.

Flat prices have outperformed all property types in 2009, largely due to due to sharp increases in London, where they form a relatively high proportion of the property market.

Britain's flats have increased in value by an average of £394 per month over the past decade, from £133,483 to £180,799 today, a rise of almost £47,500. That is the largest increase in cash terms of any property type.

The 35% increase in the average price of a flat is closely followed by terraced houses at 32%, while detached homes recorded the smallest rise of just 17%.

Flats or terraces were the best performers in all but two regions over the last decade: the West Midlands, where bungalows grew fastest, and the South East, where semi-detached homes led the charge.

Terraced homes were the best performing property type in a greater number of regions, six in total: the North, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands, Wales and the South West.

All property types recorded substantial price falls during the housing market downturn between 2007 and 2009, but bungalows fared best. During this period, the average price of a bungalow fell 21% to £180,271. Terraced houses (-33%) and flats (-32%) were the worst performers.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: "Bungalows and detached properties fared best during the downturn between 2007 and 2009 as these property types are less popular with first-time buyers who were particularly badly affected by the tightening in mortgage credit criteria and availability at the height of the financial crisis.

"During the recovery since 2009 larger property types such as detached homes, semis and bungalows have underperformed flats and terraces. The demand for such properties has been partly constrained by a widespread lack of equity amongst homeowners who bought for the first time around the peak in the market and who are therefore finding it difficult to finance a move to a larger home."