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's 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.”