Research published by Rightmove as part of its House Price Index, reveals that middle England is bucking the national trend of 3.1% annual house price increase and experiencing a mini property boom. Northamptonshire leads the way with an impressive increase of 9.1%, followed by Derbyshire with 7.9% and Norfolk with 7.4% growth.

Eight counties witnessing year-on-year rises at twice the rate of the national average are all located in central England compared to just a quarter in the north of the country and a fifth in the south.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, explains: “With a shortage of suitable choice in many parts of the country, buyers are becoming increasingly adept at hunting down property that fits their budget, ticks the boxes on their checklist and stirs their emotions. Properties in the counties that have seen above-average price rises over the last year are clearly meeting the needs of home-hunters at relatively affordable prices.”

Factors driving the popularity of central England include Norfolk’s popular holiday and retirement home market which provides greater value for money than other hot spots on the south coast of the country combined with the buoyancy of its county capital, Norwich. While Derbyshire represents the greatest value for money among the top three performers, with an average house price tag of £200,000. Northamptonshire’s stellar performance is aided by its connectivity to the capital, with London Euston a mere 48 minutes away.

Demand for UK housing on the rise

Source: Rightmove, House Price Index, August 2017