We found London’s Kensington and Chelsea to be the most cripplingly expensive. Just one square foot of floorspace within the royal borough (about enough room to stand the kitchen bin on) costs a staggering £1,328 – that’s 29% more than five years ago.

The City of Westminster – home to the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace – came a close second, with average costs sitting at £1,093 for each square foot.

And you’ll need to head to Blaenau Gwent in South Wales (see map below), to get the most space for your money. Homes in the area cost an average of £79 per square foot – up 10% since 2012.

Across Britain as a whole, the average cost per square foot of property is £211, which is 26% higher than five years ago.


Above: A generous three-bedroom terraced house in the market town of Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent, on the market for £139,950


Above: A super-skinny two-bedroom mid-terraced Victorian cottage in Kensington, on the market for £995,000

What about by region?

In regional terms, house hunters can achieve the most value in the north east, where the average price per square foot now stands at £124. It has risen by just 3% over the past five years.

Wales is the second cheapest region, with the average square footage currently costing £137, 9% rise since 2012.

And, with a staggering 54% hike in costs over the last five years, average square footage in London is the least affordable at £496.

Regional growth in price per square foot since 2012 (ranked highest to lowest)

RankArea2017 Price Per Sq Ft (£)2012 Price Per Sq Ft (£)Difference in price (£)Percentage change
2East of England£269£195£7438%
3South East£309£227£8236%
4South West£223£182£4123%
5East Midlands£164£136£2820%
6West Midlands£173£147£2618%
8North West£147£132£1511%
9Yorkshire and the Humber£146£133£1310%
11North East£124£120£43%

Which areas saw the highest growth?

Outside of London, Slough took the prize for the highest price growth per square foot. Properties in the Berkshire town saw square footage prices leap from £229 in 2012 to £374 today, a rise of 64% over the last five years.

Stevenage and Welwyn came in second and third place, where square footage costs have risen by 59% and 57% respectively since 2012 (see table below).

Above: In Slough, this four-bedroom end-terrace home is available for £415,000

Top 10 local authorities with highest growth in price per square foot since 2012 (excluding London)

RankLocal authority area2017 Price Per Sq Ft (£)2012 Price Per Sq Ft (£)Difference in price (£)Percentage change
3Welwyn Hatfield£379£241£13857%
7Three Rivers£458£295£16355%

Where is square footage most expensive?

Outside the capital, Elmbridge, in the notoriously pricey home county of Surrey, racked up the highest cost per square foot at £495. This is 36% higher than in 2012.

Second place went to St Albans in Hertfordshire, where a 41% jump over the same period has resulted in square-footage costs reaching a current £489.

Nearby Three Rivers, also in Hertfordshire, was placed the third most expensive local authority area after a 55% rise to £458 per square foot.


Above: On the market for £1.3m is this five-bedroom detached house in Elmbridge, Surrey

Top 10 most expensive local authority areas by price per sq ft (excluding London)

RankLocal authority area2017 Price Per Sq Ft (£)2012 Price Per Sq Ft (£)Difference in price (£)Percentage change
2St Albans£489£346£14341%
3Three Rivers£458£295£16355%
5Epsom and Ewell£450£318£13241%
7South Bucks£433£311£12239%
9Mole Valley£428£320£10834%
10Windsor and Maidenhead£426£293£13345%

Where is square footage least expensive?

When it comes to the most affordable end of the market, as mentioned above, Blaenau Gwent in South Wales is the local authority that offers buyers the most space for their money.

It’s closely followed by Burnley in Lancashire, at £87 per square foot – down 3% since 2012.


Above: A three-bedroom mews house for sale in Burnley for £150,000

Top 10 least expensive local authority areas by price per sq ft (excluding London)

RankLocal authority area2017 Price Per Sq Ft (£)2012 Price Per Sq Ft (£)Difference in price (£)Percentage change
1Blaenau Gwent£79£72£710%
3East Ayrshire£91£79£1216%
4Merthyr Tudful£94£80£1418%
5North Ayrshire£96£95£11%
6Neath Port Talbot£97£89£89%
7Na h-Eileanan an Iar£97£85£1214%
8Rhondda Cynon Taf£98£88£1011%
10County Durham£101£103-£2-2%

What about in London?

The sharpest rises can be found in East London. Newham, home to the Olympic Park, tops Zoopla’s table of top 10 London boroughs experiencing the highest growth. A hike of 86% since 2012 has taken the average price to £422 per square foot.

Top 10 London boroughs with highest growth in price per sq ft since 2012

RankBorough2017 Price Per Sq Ft (£)2012 Price Per Sq Ft (£)Difference in price (£)Percentage change
2Waltham Forest£498£271£22784%
3Barking and Dagenham£344£199£14573%

Source of all tables: Zoopla and Hometrack, September 2017

Why do square footage costs matter?

Analysing property on the basis of its cost per square foot is an effective way of seeing where you can achieve the most space for your money, according to Zoopla spokesperson, Lawrence Hall: “It can help steer homebuyers to areas they may want to focus property searches in, depending on their budget.”

Top 3 takeaways

  • The average British property now costs £211 per square foot, up 26% from 2012
  • Kensington and Chelsea is home to most expensive square footage, currently standing at £1,328
  • Properties in Blaenau Gwent offer homeowners the most space for their money, at a cost of £79 per square foot

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