Flat Out

Our Stratford Upon Avon Agent Gen is bringing a lovely flat to the market this week. It got me thinking about what is the most popular type of home in the UK and what is the best investment.

The star performers in the property market, according to research by the Halifax bank, are flats. Average flat prices have risen by 53% in the past seven years — the equivalent of £19 a day.

In the same period, detached houses have been the worst performers: with price growth of only 19%, they’re even behind bungalows (29%). Terraced houses were the second fastest risers (43%), pipping semis (36%). Average price growth nationwide is 39%.

Much of the rise in the value of flats is due to rapid price increases in London, where they went up by an average of 65% to almost £400,000. They account for 48% of all sales in the capital, compared with an average elsewhere of 11%. Yet even excluding the London market, flat prices still rose by a healthy 35%.

For most of us, however, terraces and semis are the most popular properties. Halifax says terraced homes are the most affordable, with a typical price of £215,690, followed by semis (£225,070), then flats (£243,936) — though, if you exclude London, the average for flats drops to £167,144.

Outside southern England, a typical terraced home costs less than £150,000 — and in the north and Wales, you can get one for less than £125,000, under the zero stamp-duty threshold. In Greater London, you’ll have to stump up £490,000.

Between them, terraces and semis accounted for 60% of home sales in 2016. Terrace transactions fell slightly, while the number of sales of semi-detached houses rose by 1%.

First-time buyers are increasingly choosing semis over terraced homes, according to Martin Ellis, a Halifax housing economist. “The rise in the age of the typical first-time buyer may partly account for the change in preference towards the family-friendly semi,” he says.

Take a tour of the flat we are selling in Stratford Upon Avon here

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