House prices crashed by 9.6 per cent in Oxford in December, new figures show.

The large drop contributes to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area suffer a 7.4 per cent annual decline.

The average Oxford house price in December was £434,370, Land Registry figures show – a 9.6 per cent decrease on November.

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Over the month, the picture was different to that across the South East, where prices decreased 1.9 per cent, and Oxford was lower than the 0.1 per cent rise for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Oxford fell by £35,000 – putting the area 56th among the South East’s 64 local authorities with price data for annual growth.

In other county districts, house prices also fell but not as far. Cherwell saw an average decrease of 2.6 per cent, South Oxfordshire 2.5 per cent and West Oxfordshire 1.2 per cent.

The highest annual growth in the region was in Winchester, where property prices increased on average by 7.9 per cent, to £538,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in Gosport lost 11.5 per cent of their value, giving an average price of £230,000.

First-time buyers in Oxford spent an average of £381,000 on their property – £32,000 less than a year ago, but £21,000 more than in December 2018.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £485,000 on average in December – 27.5 per cent more than first-time buyers.

Owners of detached houses saw the biggest fall in property prices in Oxford in December – they dropped 10.1 per cent in price to £901,020 on average. Over the last year, prices dropped by 6.8 per cent.

Buyers paid 15.2 per cent more than the average price in the South East (£377,000) in December for a property in Oxford. Across the South East, property prices are high compared to those across the UK, where the average cost is £285,000.

Last October, the need for Oxford to “get on top” of its housing costs was urged by councillors and charities, as figures at the time revealed house prices were rising faster than anywhere else in the South East.

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Fears were raised that young people and the city’s homeless population would suffer as the housing market becomes increasingly “out of reach”.

The most expensive properties in the South East were in Elmbridge – £730,000 on average, and 1.7 times the price as in Oxford. Elmbridge properties cost 3.2 times the price as homes in Gosport (£230,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

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