Towns are top of the hot spots

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Luton was the top-performing town across the UK for house price growth over the last year, according to a national bank - with Dunstable also in the top 10.

The Halifax says property values in the town have increased by nearly a fifth (19.4%) during 2016 and are typically nearly £42,000 more expensive than a year ago. The average price is now £256,636.

Dunstable is third in the list of 10 areas with the highest house price rises over the last year. Prices are now on average £253,799, a rise of 17.9%. Analysts say it’s due to their close commuting distance to London.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: “Demand in these areas has risen as substantial property price rises in central London over the last few years have caused increasing numbers of people to seek property in more affordable areas.”