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West Midlands house prices shoot up £12,000 in one year

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House prices in the West Midlands ended last year around £12,000 higher on average than when the year started, according to an official report.

The typical property value across the region was £181,000, said the report, produced jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with other bodies.

Across the wider UK house price growth was strongest in England, where prices increased by 7.7 per cent over the year to December, taking the average price to £236,000.

Wales saw house prices increase by 4.7 per cent over the year to stand at £148,000. In Scotland, the average price increased by 3.5 per cent to £142,000, while in Northern Ireland the average price was £125,000, an increase of 5.7 per cent.

House prices across the UK as a whole increased by 7.2 per cent in the year to December, accelerating from a 6.1 per cent rise recorded in the year to November

The biggest rise in prices was on the small island of Shetland, where they rose 26.1 per cent to £179,000. The biggest drop was in the city of Aberdeen, where prices fell 9.8 per cent to £168,000 as the local economy took a major hit from the slump in the offshore oil industry.

Across the English regions, house price growth ranged from an 11.3 per cent increase in East Anglia to a 4.1 per cent rise in the North East, putting the 7.1 per cent rise across the West Midlands firmly in the middle ground.

But there was wide variation within our region.

The biggest price rises were in Wyre Forest and Kidderminster, where prices rose 10.4 per cent to an average of £175,063, while the lowest was just 3.1 per cent in South Staffordshire, where the average house now costs £208,478.

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Across Shropshire house prices have risen 6.4 per cent to an average of £204,818, while in Telford & Wrekin they were up 5.6 per cent to £155,402.

In Wolverhampton prices rose 7.4 per cent to £135,018 on average, while in Walsall they were up 8.2 per cent to £149,268.

In Dudley a 5.1 per cent rise over the year took prices to £155,824 while in Sandwell they were up just 4.3 per cent to £130,004.

In Staffordshire house prices were up 5.7 per cent on to an average of £177,268, while in Stafford they were up four per cent to £191,447. In Cannock Chase prices rose 5.7 per cent to £150,805.

Richard Snook, a senior economist at PwC, said: "The good news for prospective future buyers is that we do expect a gradual slowdown in house price inflation in 2017 with our scenarios ranging from between two per cent and six per cent growth."

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