Two deprived areas in Weymouth and Portland have seen house prices plunge over the last 10 years – as more affluent areas see increases of tens of thousands of pounds.

Some areas have also seen house prices stagnate over the decade from 2008 to 2017, following huge increases in the previous decade from 1998.

The average house price in Melcombe Regis – the DT4 7 area – in 2008 was £194,000. By 2017 this had dropped to £184,000.

On Portland the DT5 1 (Fortuneswell) area average house price stood at £215,000 in 2008, but fell to £177,000 in 2017 – a decrease of £38,000 or -17 per cent. In contrast, the other area of Portland - Easton, Weston and Southwell - with the DT5 2 postcode saw house prices increase from £168,000 to £186,000 in the decade, a rise of 10 per cent.

The Underhill area of Portland and Melcombe Regis in Weymouth are two of Dorset’s most deprived boroughs and both have featured in the English Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) since it was first published by the government in 1997.

Last year, the Dorset Echo reported that monitoring by the IMD showed a ‘marked decline’ of Underhill, where almost half of children are classed as living in poverty.

Research published regularly by estate agents and mortgage providers shows a trend of house prices increasing but the new figures based on figures from the government’s Land Registry reveal different trends emerging according to what part of town you live in.

Some of the more affluent areas have seen house prices stagnate, while others have increased much more.

An average house in the DT3 4 area – Chickerell, Portesham and Abbotsbury – cost £244,000 in 2008, increasing 27 per cent to £311,000 by 2017. But in Preston, Osmington and Sutton Poyntz, the DT3 6 area, house prices rose from £313,000 to £326,000, an increase of just four per cent. This is the lowest increase in the Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester area, of those postcodes which saw a rise in house prices.

Dorchester saw the sharpest increases, with the average house price rising by £73,000 in the DT1 2 area, from £231,000 in 2008 to £304,000 in 2017.

In DT1 1, the average price rose from £200,000 to £254,000 in the same period and in the DT1 3 area there was an increase of £62,000, from £277,000 to £339,000.

Figures 'should be treated cautiously'

Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Housing, said: “There are many factors that will have an effect on average property values. This includes the size and quality of homes coming to market over a certain period. For example a greater number of bigger, newer homes for sale will push up averages for that period, whereas smaller homes may bring down averages.

“Averages for small communities like Fortuneswell or Melcombe Regis should be treated more cautiously than averages for areas with a higher base number of private homes being sold. Home ownership in both areas is lower than surrounding areas. Melcombe Regis especially, has a high proportion of rented accommodation and Houses in Multiple Occupation.

“You also have to look at wider factors, such as the financial crisis in 2008, which is likely to be the main factor in the huge drop in house prices between 2008 and 2009.

“It is worth noting that in both Melcombe Regis and Fortuneswell, there were extremely high average price increases between 2006 and 2008.

“In Melcombe Regis, average house prices rose by £26k between 2006 and 2008. So since 2006 house prices have actually risen by £16k.

“In Fortuneswell, average house prices rose by £41k between 2006 and 2008. So since 2006 house prices have actually risen by £3k.”

Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “While the increase in house prices in West Dorset is encouraging for some, it does present an affordability gap for many residents looking to get on, or climb the housing ladder.

“We are fully invested in our Opening Doors Programme and are working with our partner councils to actively encourage developers to build more homes in the area. We’re also currently reviewing our local plan, seeking views on preferred options for future development.

“West Dorset is leading the way in Community Land Trusts, and have many active groups encouraging affordable developments for local people.”

  • How did your postcode area perform?


DT4 7: 54.9k

DT4 8: 79.2k

DT4 9: 73.3k

DT4 0 57k

DT3 5: 69.7k

DT5 1 (Portland): 50.2k

DT5 2: 50.9k

DT3 6 (Preston): 93.9

DT3 4 (Chickerell, Abbotsbury): 84.3k

DT1 1: 68.3k

DT1 2: 77.2k

DT1 3: 132k


DT4 7: 194k

DT4 8: 234k

DT4 9: 217k

DT4 0: 173k

DT3 5: 231

DT5 1 (Portland): 215k

DT5 2: 168k

DT3 6 (Preston): 313k

DT3 4 (Chickerell, Abbotsbury): 244k

DT1 1: 200k

DT1 2: 231k

DT1 3: 277k

2018 (with difference compared to 2008)

DT4 7: 184k -10k

DT4 8: 258k +24k

DT4 9: 255k +38k

DT4 0: 202k +29k

DT3 5: 271k +40k

DT5 1 (Portland): 177k -38k

DT5 2: 186k +18k

DT3 6 (Preston): 326k +13k

DT3 4 (Chickerell, Abbotsbury): 311k +67k

DT1 1: 254k +54k

DT1 2: 304k +73k

DT1 3: 339k +62k