Towns near London witnessed a sharp increase in house prices, according to data from the Land Registry, a non-ministerial department of the UK Government that registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. The increase in prices has been up to 19% in commuter towns such as Slough, Luton and Reading.
While Slough in Berkshire saw the highest annual increase of 19%, with houses being priced typically at about £236,000 (€298,915, $338,463) in February, Luton in Bedfordshire saw a jump of 17% with property prices averaging £169,000, while Reading, also in Berkshire, saw an increase of 14.6%, with an average property price of £270,000.
The data proves that those interested in buying a house in London but cannot afford it are showing interest in towns which are within commuting distance from the country's capital. The Essex borough of Thurrock is one such place where Londoners are said to be considering purchasing homes as they are more affordable than in London, while at the same time being close to the city.
The towns in Thurrock include Grays, Tilbury and Purfleet. These are said to have seen an annual price growth of 17.2% in February, with £194,000 being the average house price. These are far lesser than the price of a house in the capital, where it is averaging £530,368.
David Brown, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, the London estate agency said: "An overall monthly dip in property prices in February disguises the fact that the majority of regions are experiencing striking growth. In the capital, annual growth has climbed to comfortably double the wider England and Wales average," according to The Guardian.
The Land Registry data also revealed that house prices in England at Wales averaged £190,275 in February, marking a 6.1% increase from a year earlier. Pointing out that wages across England and Wales had increased by just 1.6% in the past year, housing charity, Shelter, warned "these sky-high house prices mean the dream of a place to call home is fast becoming nothing more than a fantasy".