HOUSE prices dropped by 1.4 per cent in Dudley in March, new figures show.

But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area grow by 8.6 per cent over the last year.

The average Dudley house price in March was £232,918, Land Registry figures show – a 1.4 per cent decrease on February.

Over the month, the picture was different to that across West Midlands, where prices decreased four per cent, but Dudley was lower than the 1.2 per cent drop for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Dudley rose by £18,000 – putting the area eighth among West Midlands’s 30 local authorities with price data for annual growth.

The highest annual growth in the region was in Nuneaton and Bedworth, where property prices increased on average by 11.4 per cent, to £243,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in Newcastle-under-Lyme gained 2.6 per cent in value, giving an average price of £189,000.

First-time buyers in Dudley spent an average of £204,000 on their property – £16,000 more than a year ago, and £57,000 more than in March 2018.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £259,000 on average in March – 26.7 per cent more than first-time buyers.

Owners of terraced houses saw the biggest fall in property prices Dudley in March – they dropped 1.9 per cent in price, to £191,091 on average. But over the last year, prices rose by 8.5 per cent.

Among other types of property: Detached: down 0.9 per cent monthly; up 8.9 per cent annually; £358,802 average Semi-detached: down 1.3 per cent monthly; up 8.7 per cent annually; £231,190 average Flats: down 1.5 per cent monthly; up 7.4 per cent annually; £125,782 average Buyers paid five per cent less than the average price in West Midlands (£245,000) in March for a property in Dudley. Across West Midlands, property prices are lower than those across the UK, where the average cost £285,000.

The most expensive properties in West Midlands were in Stratford-on-Avon – £387,000 on average, and 1.7 times as much as more than in Dudley. Stratford-on-Avon properties cost 2.7 times as much as homes in Stoke (£145,000 average), at the other end of the scale.