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UK's biggest house-price jumps came outside London last year

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An English spa town and two coastal areas saw the biggest house-price increases in the UK last year, outstripping gains in London's hotspots.

[LONDON] An English spa town and two coastal areas saw the biggest house-price increases in the UK last year, outstripping gains in London's hotspots.

Cheltenham in southwest England saw a 13 per cent jump in prices in 2017, almost five times the national increase of 2.7 per cent, Bank of Scotland Plc's Halifax division said in a report Tuesday. The average house in the town, famous for its annual horse-racing festival, rose to £313,150 (S$565,000). Bournemouth and Brighton, both on England's south coast, saw the next highest gains, with prices rising more than 11 per cent in each.

House-price growth has slowed this year, with London a particular weak spot, thanks to a sluggish economy and a squeeze on consumers in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union. The situation isn't expected to improve soon, with forecasts released last month by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Nationwide Building Society predicting a broadly flat 2018.

Unlike 2016, "the top performers are not exclusive to London and the southeast," said Halifax Managing Director Russell Galley.

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The top performer in the UK capital was the eastern borough of Newham, which had a 10 per cent increase. Two of the three areas with the biggest declines were in Scotland: Perth and Paisley. In all, 13 towns ended the year with lower prices.

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