Livingston is Scotland’s top performer in house price growth

Livingston is Scotlands best performer in terms of house price growth. Picture: Ian Rutherford/TSPL
Livingston is Scotlands best performer in terms of house price growth. Picture: Ian Rutherford/TSPL
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House price growth in Britain’s new towns has outperformed the national average, a report has found.

Livingston is Scotland’s best performer in terms of house price growth, the report found, with a 423 per cent rise over the past 30 years in the average property price to £161,184 – the 18th highest rise overall in the UK.

However, Milton Keynes which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, was identified as the best-performing new town for property price growth over the past three decades, with the average cost of a home rocketing by 601 per cent to reach £309,415 on average.

East Kilbride, Scotland’s oldest “new town”, experienced the next highest rise north of the Border, with a 406 per cent rise in the average price of a home to £150,785, according to the study from Halifax. Meanwhile, the cost of a property in Cumbernauld, has risen by 404 per cent to £127,764.

The cost of homes in Glenrothes in Fife rocketed by 351 per cent in the past 30 years, followed by Irvine, with a 339 per cent increase to £122,469.

New towns generally have seen house prices increase by nearly a third over the past decade, increasing by just over £55,500, from £173,337 in 2006 to £228,902 in 2016. House prices across Britain generally have increased by just over a quarter over the past ten years, from £200,059 to £251,679 – an increase of around £51,600.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: “Milton Keynes has been the best-performing of all the new towns created following the Second World War in terms of house price performance since 1986.”

Mr Ellis added that many of the new towns with the strongest house price growth over the past ten years are in the London commuter belt, with prices in Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead seeing particularly strong gains since 1986.

Scotland’s new towns have seen among the lowest levels of growth, UK-wide.

He said: “Many of these new towns are within easy commuting distance of major commercial centres, where property is typically more expensive, particularly in the south-e ast, where the average property price is well below that in London. This makes them a highly popular choice with home buyers, explaining their relatively good house price performance, and this popularity has been particularly notable during the last decade.”

New towns were created in waves after the Second World War, generally emerging between the 1940s-60s and helped to alleviate housing shortages following the war.

Scotland’s New Towns came into being after the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1947 with the construction of East Kilbride that year and Glenrothes a year later. Irvine was the last, built in 1966. They re-housed tens of thousands of people, attracted new industrial and commercial developments and were key sites for modern planning and architecture. A sixth new town was proposed for Stonehouse, in Lanarkshire, but was later abandoned.