AVERAGE house prices in Bournemouth grew by 5.8 per cent to £284,900 last year, research suggests.

The figure shows house price growth in the town is way ahead of London.

But the Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index found the gap between asking prices and selling prices was growing in 20 key towns, including Bournemouth.

Bournemouth’s 5.8 per cent rise was up from 5.1 per cent the year before.

Edinburgh was the city with the fastest-growing house prices, at 8.2 per cent, while some areas – including Aberdeen, Cambridge and Oxford – saw prices decline.

London saw its prices grow by only 1.8 per cent.

He said the market seemed to be in a “transition period”, with a gap between London’s growth rate and much higher figures in regional towns and cities.

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said: “These results confirm our view that the housing market is following the pattern registered in previous housing cycles, with high rates of growth in London over the first half of the cycle being followed by low growth and an acceleration in regional housing markets as prices recover off a low base.”