Britain's housing market is so squeezed that flat prices are now 60% higher than a decade ago

Workers put the finishing touches on 'The World Stands on its Head' ('Die Welt Steht Kopf') House on the Baltic Sea Island of Usedom on September 3, 2008 in Trassenheide, Germany. The upside down house, complete with interior furnishings, is the brainchild of Klaudiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk, and will become a local tourist attraction that will open its doors to the public tomorrow. (Photo by )Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesWorkers put the finishing touches on ‘The World Stands on its Head’ (‘Die Welt Steht Kopf’) House on the Baltic Sea Island of Usedom on September 3, 2008 in Trassenheide, Germany.

Britain’s housing market has been going crazy over the last decade and now we have the stats to back it up.

New research from Halifax building society shows the average price of a flat in the UK has grown by 60% in the past ten years to hit £233,424.

As with most growth in the UK property market, the huge rise in flat prices was mainly driven by the London market, where flats make up a large proportion of sales compared to the rest of the country. Flats represent 49% of all properties sold in the capital, whilst the average for the whole UK is just 17%.

Flats in London are now 67% more expensive than they were ten years ago, and cost an average of £370,281. That’s more than three times the cost of a flat in the North of England and Wales.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said in a statement: “The national increase in flat prices has been led by London where flats account for roughly one in two property sales; substantially higher than for the country as a whole.”

Whilst flat prices have soared, detached homes have seen the smallest price increase, just 21%. The average detached property is now worth £336,078. Overall, property prices in Britain are up by 38% over the same period.

Ellis says: “First-time buyers have switched to some extent away from flats — reflecting their large price increases — towards semi-detached homes over the last decade.”

Semi-detached and terraced properties remain the UK’s most popular dwellings, and combined make up 59% of the whole market, a minor increase of 1% from 2005. Flats, in comparison, only represent 17% of property sales, down from 20% ten years ago. However, if flat sales continue to rise in the capital over the coming years, expect this to change.

The Halifax data also shows that UK house prices fell by 0.9% between August and September.

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