Which soap opera has seen the biggest house price rises? Property news update

Plus, UK's gazumping capital, island trends, ugly houses wanted, and most affordable cities to rent in

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The Independent Online

Average house prices around the location where EastEnders is based have leapt by 437 per cent over the last 20 years, according to research from Halifax, putting it top of the soap opera property lists.

Other soaps have also done well with Coronation Street seeing a 204 per cent hike, Emmerdale 198 per cent, and Hollyoaks 193 per cent.

The researchers based their EastEnders figures on the Waltham Forest area, Coronation Street's on Salford, Emmerdale's on Otley, and Hollyoaks' on Liverpool L16.

"The UK's longest running soaps have made the areas where they are based famous," said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, "however this doesn’t always translate to high house prices. Average house prices in the locations around the settings of some of the UK’s most popular television series and films have performed well in the past 20 years, but this doesn’t always mean they are now more expensive than surrounding areas.

"While you may pay a premium to live around Emmerdale or Hollyoaks, average prices in the locations around where EastEnders and Coronation Street are based are still below the regional average."

Looking at just the last five years, Midsomer Murders (Wallingford and Beaconsfield) saw the biggest house price increase, up 35 per cent. Game of Thrones (Downpatrick, Coleraine, Ballycastle) fared the worst, down 25 per cent.

Brighton is UK's gazumping hotspot

Data from online estate agent eMoov.co.uk indicates that Brighton is the gazumping capital of Britain. In its poll of just over 1,000 homeowners, a third of movers have been gazumped in Brighton, followed by 27 per cent in Birmingham, and 22 per cent in Sheffield. Liverpool had the lowest figure at 13 per cent.

Help George Clarke with your 'Ugly House'

If you dislike your house and would like to appear in George Clarke's new television series renovating it, the producers of the programme would like to hear from you.

You need to have your own budget and want a radical redesign that can be achieved in three to four months. Those in an ex-local authority property or 1930s semi-detached home are particularly encouraged to reply. Contact Katja Macintosh on uglyhouse@betty.co.uk for more details.

Owning an island: latest trends

On the offchance that you win the lottery and fancy buying your own island, Private Islands founder Farhad Vladi believes that the island owners of the future will be conservation-minded public or private island owners, and developers of hotels and resorts.

"It is becoming more and more common to see the government of various countries purchasing islands," he said. "The governments of these countries can be seen making use of the recession to purchase islands for low prices. It is popular move for politicians, who are keen to promote the purchase of islands from private hands into public hands."

His second major observation is that increasingly 'people do not want to own, but more enjoy'  which has given a boost to the island holidays market. "More and more islands are developed for short term holidays whether a resort or privately owned," he said.

Where are the most affordable cities to rent?

Seven out of 12 UK regions saw rent levels fall in October, according to HomeLet which puts the average monthly rent in the UK (excluding London) at £708'

Plymouth - where the average monthly rent is £510 - Cardiff and Leeds top the list of the most affordable major cities to rent in the UK, while at the bottom are London - where monthly rent is equal to half the average tenant's income - closely followed by Edinburgh and Birmingham.