UK house prices:the East and South-East regions are both growing faster than London for the first time this year

New figures show house price rises are slowing in London, and rising faster in surrounding regions as buyers widen their search for more affordable homes.

House prices in the East of England have risen by an average of 11 per cent to £332,000 in the past year, making it the fastest rising region in England.

The South-East comes a close second, with average price growth of 9.5 per cent to £408,000. Meanwhile, prices in London have slowed to less than nine per cent, but asking prices in the capital are still staggeringly higher than the rest of the UK and now average £646,000.

East of England region
Commuter areas within an hour of London have seen the biggest price growth in the East, rising significantly above the region's average.

Watford tops the list, with prices rising more than 20 per cent to almost £435,000, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index.

Located towards the end of the Metropolitan line - by far the most in-demand of all Tube lines, thanks to its huge reach from central London into the capital’s greenbelt - Watford has had a fair number of new-build homes in recent years.

The area was also recently listed in seventh position on eMoov's National Hotspots Index, which maps the most popular areas in the UK for homebuyers.

Due north of Watford, Luton is the second-fastest growing area in the East, rising by just over 18 per cent to a comparatively more affordable £250,000.

Similar growth has been seen in Harlow and Waltham Cross, both of which offer direct commutes to Liverpool Street in under half an hour. But prices are over £100,000 higher in Waltham Cross, exceeding £393,000, and if Crossrail 2 goes ahead as planned prices will become even steeper as the town will be directly linked to Euston, Tottenham Court Road and Victoria by 2033.


South-East region
Rochester in Kent has experienced a mini-boom since the launch of a £26 million railway terminal this year, with prices rising 20 per cent to £259,000.

The station is a key part of major regeneration and expansion plans for the town made famous by Charles Dickens, who lived nearby, and takes commuters directly into the major London terminals of Victoria, King's Cross and Charing Cross.

Prices in Slough have risen 17 per cent in the last year thanks to the Crossrail effect. One of the last stops on the western section of the high-speed rail network that's set to link east and west London by the end of 2018, prices there have shot up to £357,000.

The waterside towns of Gillingham and Gravesend are already on a high-speed line to London, offering 45- and 30-minute journeys to St Pancras. Prices in both areas have risen just over 16 per cent, averaging £240,000 in GIllingham and £270,000 in Gravesend.

“While the average price of property is much less in the regions of the South-East and East of England, those looking for better value there are seeing it being eaten away by rising prices," says Rightmove director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside. "One of the reasons behind faster rising prices in these two regions, compared to London, is that there is less property coming to market than at this time a year ago.

"With high demand from both local buyers and those looking to escape London’s higher cost of housing, a drop in fresh supply of properties coming to market is forcing prices up at a faster rate.”

Overall, the London property market is slowing but, as always, there are huge differences at borough level.

Generally, the most affordable boroughs are rising the fastest, with six of the capital's 10 fastest-growing boroughs having the lowest average house prices: Barking and Dagenham and Havering in the east, Redbridge and Waltham Forest in the north-east, Bexley in the south-east, and Sutton in the south.

"It's a sign of a readjusting market," says Shipside. "Fourteen boroughs have seen new seller asking prices fall, with eighteen rising. The net effect is the second lowest monthly rise at this time of year in the last seven years."

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