ANALYSIS of new figures reveals that Eccleston was the most expensive area of St Helens to buy a house last year.

Zoopla said the data highlights how localised the housing market across England and Wales is, with prices often reflecting the housing stock available in an area.

The most expensive areas

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that of the 16 council wards in St Helens, Eccleston saw the highest median house price in 2021, of £235,000.

This was followed by Rainford (£205,000) and Rainhill (£182,750).

The least expensive areas

By contrast, the cheapest parts of St Helens to purchase property were Parr, which had a median house price of £92,500, Town Centre (£98,000) and West Park (£113,000).

The median – the middle number in a series – is used to ensure the figures are not skewed by extreme highs or lows.

Meanwhile, the number of homes sold in St Helens rose from 2,120 in 2020 to 2,524 last year.

The busiest area for sales

Of sales last year, nine per cent (238) were in Newton-le-Willows – making it the busiest area for buyers.

At the other end of the scale, Bold saw just 110 properties sold in 2021, earning it the title of quietest area of St Helens's property market.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research said that following a period of significant growth during the pandemic, it expects house prices to experience downward pressure over the next year, as a result of sharp rises in mortgage rates.

Karl Thompson, an economist at the think tank, said the strongest price contractions are expected outside of London and the South East, causing greater regional price disparities.

The number of residential property sales in England increased by 21 per cent to 821,407 between the end of 2020 and the end of last year.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said property values vary widely in large part because of the differing housing stock between areas – some neighbourhoods will have a higher number of five-bedroom detached homes, while others will be home to more flats and smaller properties.

But she said the difference between more and less expensive areas may start to narrow.

She added: "The demand for larger detached homes during the pandemic has pushed average values for houses higher over the last year, while price growth for flats has lagged.

"But there are signs that demand for flats in city centres is gaining momentum, so we could see faster rising prices in this part of the market."

The 'trendiest area'

The ONS figures also reveal the trendiest area – the one which saw the fastest growth in sales – in St Helens.

Of the 13 wards with at least 100 properties sold, Rainhill saw 42 per cent more properties sold in 2021 than in 2020, followed by Eccleston (36 per cent) and Billinge and Seneley Green (33 per cent).