House prices increased slightly, by 0.8%, in Dorset in May, new figures show.

The rise contributes to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area grow by 14.9% over the last year.

The average Dorset house price in May was £357,183, Land Registry figures show – a 0.8% increase on April.

Over the month, the picture was similar to that across the South West, where prices increased 1%, and Dorset was lower than the 1.2% rise for the UK as a whole.

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Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Dorset rose by £46,000 – putting the area 10th among the South West’s 29 local authorities with price data for annual growth.

The highest annual growth in the region was in South Hams, where property prices increased on average by 22.9%, to £426,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in the Forest of Dean gained 6.9% in value, giving an average price of £291,000.

An imbalance between supply and demand for properties has remained the primary reason behind climbing house prices across the UK throughout the pandemic.

But activity is starting to slow, with soaring inflation putting household budgets under pressure.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at financial advice company Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The average house price hit another record high in May, and rose faster than any time since the peak in June last year.

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"However, we’re starting to see small changes in the market, which are likely to mean weaker growth in the coming months, especially if interest rates are hiked in August."

First steps on the property ladder

First-time buyers in Dorset spent an average of £278,000 on their property – £35,000 more than a year ago, and £59,000 more than in May 2017.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £401,000 on average in May – 44% more than first-time buyers.

Property types

Owners of terraced houses saw the biggest rise in property prices in Dorset in May – they increased 1.2%, to £279,030 on average. Over the last year, prices rose by 14.5%.

Among other types of property:

Detached: up 0.8% monthly; up 16.4% annually; £533,271 average

Semi-detached: up 0.9% monthly; up 16% annually; £349,225 average

Flats: up 0.4% monthly; up 10.4% annually; £190,438 average

How do property prices in Dorset compare?

Buyers paid 10.4% more than the average price in the South West (£323,000) in May for a property in Dorset. Across the South West, property prices are higher than those across the UK, where the average cost £283,000.

The most expensive properties in the South West were in Cotswold – £474,000 on average, and 1.3 times as much as more than in Dorset. Cotswold properties cost 2.1 times as much as homes in Plymouth (£221,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea.


Average property price in May

Dorset: £357,183

The South West: £323,418

UK: £283,496

Annual growth to May

Dorset: +14.9%

The South West: +16.9%

UK: +12.8%

Highest and lowest annual growth in the South West

South Hams: +22.9%

The Forest of Dean: +6.9%