County Armagh has been deemed to be the top performing UK county over the past decade (with house price growth up 331%), while Surrey is the most expensive county with an average house price of £364,115.

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According to a new study by the Halifax building society (www.hbosplc.com), nine of the 10 most expensive counties are in the south of England. All 10 have an average price exceeding £250,000.

Blaenau Gwent is the least expensive county, with the average price over £113,964, compared to £36,658 10 years ago.

Five of the 10 least expensive counties are in Scotland. Four are in Wales and one is in the Yorkshire and Humber area (South Humberside). Ten years ago, seven of the least expensive regions were in Wales, two in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland.

‘The counties recording the best house price performance over the past 10 years have mainly been outside southern England. Four of the five counties with the highest price growth are in Northern Ireland, reflecting the strength of the housing market there over the past few years,’ says Martin Ellis, Halifax’s chief economist.

‘All counties in the UK have seen at least a doubling in prices since 1997. Prices in more than four in 10 counties trebled or more. There are now only 20 counties with an average house price below £150,000; 10 years ago, every county was below this threshold,’ Mr Ellis adds.

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