A Hampshire town saw the second biggest rise in house prices in the country, according to a new survey.
Basingstoke experienced a rise of 14.7%, while three more towns within commuting distance of London - Rochester, St Albans and Dartford – made the top five.
Southend in Essex recorded the biggest rise in house prices among major UK towns and cities over the past year, according to research by Halifax.
The average selling price in the seaside resort was 14.8% higher than the previous year, rising to £198,418 by the end of 2012, compared with an improvement of 2.1% on average across the whole of Essex.
The majority of the worst performers are outside southern England, with Craigavon in County Armagh down 18.4% and Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, off 12.5%.
Nine of the 10 towns which saw the biggest declines in prices are outside the South, reflecting the continued regional divide in the property market.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said: ''Nationally, conditions in the housing market have been largely unchanged over the past 12 months with little overall movement in either house prices or sales for the second consecutive year. This picture, however, conceals considerable local differences.''
He expects continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013, with the North/South divide in price performance likely to persist next year.
Mr Ellis said: ''House prices are expected to be strongest in London and the South East as this part of the country performs best in economic terms.''
Towns with biggest rises in average house prices
- Southend 14.8% (to £198,418)
- Basingstoke 14.7% (£220,320)
- Rochester 13.3% (£184,908)
- St Albans 13% (£371,131)
- Dartford 13% (£209,557)
- Lowestoft 12.7% (£145,844)
- Durham 12.6% (£133,878)
- Gillingham (Kent) 12.4% (£171,106)
- Uxbridge 11.7% (£309,891)
- Bromley 11.5% (£286,482)
Towns with biggest falls in average house prices
- Craigavon down 18.4% (to £91,530)
- Wishaw 12.5% (£87,410)
- Chorley 9.4% (£125,156)
- Carlisle 9.3% (£123,100)
- Wirral 9.3% (£160,375)
- Hamilton 8.9% (£96,478)
- Ayr 8.2% (£116,352)
- Inverness 7.9% (£157,679)
- Bury 7.4% (£121,433)
- Grays 7.3% (£178,864)