House prices in the Essex town of Basildon, nicknamed "Bas Vegas", are rising faster than in any other local authority area of the country, according to official figures. The average Basildon house price rose 19.9% over the year to October 2016 to £301,633, said a monthly index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Land Registry.
Basildon sits on a main commuter line into London Fenchurch Street and relative to other areas in Essex, and the city, housing is fairly cheap.
Across the whole of the UK, house price growth slowed amid affordability concerns for first-time buyers, tax hikes on investors and expensive homes, and uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The ONS said the average UK house price rose 6.9% over the year to October, 0.1% slower than the previous month, reaching £217,000.
"This continued strong growth since the end of 2013 shows house prices are consistently outstripping wage growth," said Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, a mortgage lender.
"This has a widespread effect on society with extreme intergenerational wealth and homeownership divides as well as the consistent decrease of spending power, pushing an unprecedented amount of working people into poverty. The problem stems from the lack of supply in terms of both physical housing and the affordability of current housing.
"However, we can expect to see house price growth to slow further over 2017 as increasing affordability constraints dampen demand as both first-time buyers and movers lack the financial capability to save for deposits, fees and taxes."
There were significant regional differences in the ONS data. England saw house prices increase by 7.4% over the year to October 2016, with the average now at £233,000. Wales saw house prices rise by 4.4% to a £147,000 average. In Scotland, the average price rose 4% to £143,000.
Within England, the East saw quickest growth at 12.3% to a £279,000 average. Growth was slowest in the North East at 2.7% over the year to an average house price of £125,000. London still has the highest house prices in the country. The average price in the city, which has an acute housing shortage, hit £474,000 after rising 7.7%.
|Top 5 Local Authorities||% change||Average price (£)|
|Barking and Dagenham||18.2||287,978|
|Bottom 5 Local Authorities||% change||Average price (£)|
|City of London||-8.8||712,936|
|City of Aberdeen||-8.7||172,870|
|Kensington and Chelsea||-4.9||1,207,128|
Source: October 2016 UK House Price Index, ONS