Two North towns less than four miles apart are at the opposite ends of Britain’s booming housing market, new figures show.
Prudhoe in Northumberland is listed as one of the Top 10 hotspots by property website Zoopla, while nearby Ryton, just over the border into Gateshead, is said to be the second worst performer in Britain.
According to the research, house prices in Prudhoe soared on average £18,029 (11.5%) during the first half of this year to £175,359.
But in Ryton, the average homeowner saw the price of their house plummet £2,897 (-1.9%) for the same period, down to £152,224 and a decline worsened only by Wadebridge in Cornwall.
Andrew Eldridge, of Yellow Estate Agency, which has offices in Prudhoe and Blaydon, believes homeowners shouldn’t read too much into the figures.
He said: “I think some parts of the market in Prudhoe have been doing really well, such as the three-bed semi-detached between £140,000 and £180,000 but I also think that there have been some high value sales.
“Generally, Ryton has always been more expensive than Prudhoe so maybe it is just the fact Prudhoe is catching up now. I don’t think that prices have shot up.
“I feel a lot of Ryton valuers are optimistic so there is no need to panic if you live in that area.”
The North East as a whole saw a steady average rise of £9,008 (5.5), ahead of the West Midlands, Wales and Scotland. Homes across Britain typically added £90 to their value every day between January and July, suggesting the market is back in full swing.
Zoopla’s calculations are based on a formula it uses to work out the market value of a home on any given day, taking into account factors such as recent house sale prices in a given area and current local asking prices.
Sources include the Government, estate agents, surveyors and users of Zoopla’s website.
Amy Sixmith, from estates agents Bradbury & Co, said the number of people dropping their house prices in Ryton has probably influenced the overall average for the area.
“In Ryton there is a difference between buying and selling expectations,” she said. “We find to tend that there is a little bit of an attitude that people should pay premium prices in Ryton, but people realise they can get houses a little further afield for cheaper.
“This may be because Ryton has more of a village feel than Prudhoe.”
Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, added: “Property price growth has largely been a London and South East story until recently, so it is very encouraging to see the house price recovery broadening and the ripple effect starting to take hold further north.”
Education: Prudhoe High School - in special measures but making reasonable progress.
Transport links: On the Tyne Valley rail line with its own station. Direct buses to Newcastle, Hexham and the Metrocentre.
Famous for: Prudhoe Castle, which dates back to the mid 11th century.
Little known fact: Our Lady and St Cuthbert RC Church was moved brick-by-brick from its original site at Prudhoe Hall when it was sold to a Protestant family.
Education: Charles Thorp Comprehensive - in special measures but making reasonable progress.
Transport links: Direct buses to Newcastle, Gateshead and the Metrocentre.
Famous for: The Mercury Prize-nominated Unthank sisters grew up there.
Little known fact: Thomas Secker, 18th century Archbishop of Canterbury, and Charles Thorp, first warden of Durham University, were both rectors of Ryton.