House prices have risen by 306% in 20 years

House prices in the UK have increased by 306% over the last 20 years, research from the Halifax reveals.

The biggest increases in prices have been recorded in Greater London where prices have risen by 456%, while the smallest increases have been seen in Scotland (158%).

The north/south divide has widened significantly over the past 20 years too. Prices in London are now 76% above the national average compared with 28% higher in early 1983. At the other end of the spectrum, prices in Scotland are currently 59% of the UK average compared with 93% in 1983.

The most and least expensive towns have remained unchanged since 1988. Esher in Surrey was the most expensive town in 1988 with an average price of £195,103, and is still the most expensive today at £416,328. Abertillery in Wales was the least expensive town in 1988 with an average price of £18,010, and remains so at £37,872 today.

The increase over the last 20 years in the number of people owning their own home is the biggest ever recorded. There are now 4.5 million more owner-occupiers than there were 20 years ago.

Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis says: “The housing market has been one of the UK&#39s main success stories over the last 20 years. An increase in the number of people owning homes has been matched by gains in house prices. Residential property is a very good long-term investment.”