16:52 PM, 17th February 2012, About 12 years ago
House prices in just two towns as high now than at the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, according to a study by the Halifax.
Home owners in Rochford, Essex have seen their homes increase in value by just 1% in four years.
The price of an average home in Rochford is now £231,595, compared with £229,666 in 2007.
Those in South Lakeland – covering the Cumbria towns of Kendal, Windermere and Ulverston – have stood still with a nominal change in property prices.
Values in 2007 were £212,274 compared with £212,457 now.
Everywhere else is in the red, with varying degrees of negativity.
The worst performer is Corby, Northampton, which has seen prices plunge by 35%. Average home values have collapsed from £168,010 in 2007 to £109,316.
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire (-34%), and Northumberland (-33%) lag just behind.
All the 12 worst performing towns are outside the south, while only four of the best performing 20 are elsewhere in the country.
Three – South Lakeland, Derbyshire Dales and Ceredigion, Mid Wales – are popular for holiday homes, while the other, Aberdeen, has had price support from the local oil industry.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “The whole UK has been hit hard by the economic downturn of the last few years. There are only two areas of the country where house prices are currently higher than they were at the peak of the boom in 2007 and even here the increases are marginal.
“A striking feature of our analysis of the areas that have fared best and worst in the past four years is a distinct north-south divide. Those areas that have weathered the storm best are nearly all in the south whereas those areas worst affected are all outside southern England. Northern Ireland has done particularly badly as much of the sharp gains in the years prior to 2007 have since been reversed.”
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