Good news for property owners (in two areas)

There are only two areas in the country where 2007 homebuyers may now be sitting on a profit - one is in Essex, the other is in the Lake District.

Even then, the rise in property values is nothing to write home about. Prices have climbed 1 per cent in Rochford near Southend-on-Sea in Essex. Meanwhile, they're up a hardly-noticeable 0.1 per cent in South Lakeland, which encompasses the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.

However, looking at the worst-performing areas over the past five years, according to figures prepared by the Halifax, paints a very gloomy picture. In some parts of Northern Ireland – where property values boomed more than anywhere else before 2007 – prices have actually slumped by half.

In England, the worst-performing area is Corby in the East Midlands, down by 35 per cent. In Wales it's Wrexham, down 32 per cent, while in Scotland it's East Ayrshire, which has fallen 29 per cent.

The least-worse price fall in Scotland is -7 per cent in Aberdeenshire while in Wales it's the -3 per cent in Ceredigion.

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