The islands where houses prices are soaring faster than anywhere in the UK

HARRIS, SCOTLAND - MAY 15: Alick John Morison, smiles after spending a morning dosing sheep on May 15, 2014 in Harris, Scotland. The Isles of Lewis and Harris lie in the Outer Hebrides and make up the largest island in Scotland and stretch for 100 miles. The Isles of Harris and Lewis will vote along with the rest of Scotland in the referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country on September 18, 2014. Harris and Lewis's economy is a mix of traditional businesses like fishing, weaving and farming, with more recent influence of tourism, the popularity of Harris and Lewis has grown steadily over recent years. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Jeff J Mitchell / Getty ImagesAlick John Morison smiles after spending a morning dosing sheep in Harris, Outer Hebrides

London remains the most expensive place to buy housing in the UK, but a very different place tops the list when its comes to growth in property prices.

Figures from the ONS reveal that house prices on the remote Scottish island chain of Outer Hebrides soared by 31.5% between June and July – faster than anywhere else in the country.

That’s compared to the national average of an 8.3% increase.

The islands are known for their blustery winter weather and rustic lifestyle. The main industries on the islands include crofting, whisky distilling, tweed production and knitting.

A spokesperson for the Hebridean Estate Agency, which sells property in the area, told Business Insider that there had been a “gradual increase” in market interest since 2012.

“A number of years ago, most houses would be going for under the valuation. But now, you’re looking at the seller getting valuation at least, if not higher than that,” she said.

She said that demand was going up for two reasons. Firstly, “a lot of people are moving up here. There are quite a number of holiday homes here, and there has been an increase in self-catered houses.” Secondly, she said, demand from locals for housing is increasing. “Quite a few of the younger people who used to move away are staying more often.”

Here are the top and bottom five performers in terms of annual growth:

Note: Na h-Eileanan Siar is the Gaelic name for the Outer Hebrides

House prices in the city of Aberdeen, also in Scotland, fell by the largest margin in the country. That is largely because a downturn in the global oil market has seen demand for property in the oil-rich city to fall.

House prices are also falling by 3.0% a year in London’s Kensington and Chelsea. It is still the most expensive borough in the country – houses there cost an average of £1.29 million.

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