House prices increased in Watford in May, new figures show.

​The ​boost ​contributes to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area ​achieve 5 per cent annual growth​.

The average Watford house price in May was £361,140, Land Registry figures show​ – a 2.6 per cent increase on April.

Over the month, the picture was ​better than that across the East of England, where prices ​decreased 1.0 per cent​, and Watford outperformed the 0.3 per cent rise for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Watford ​​rose by £17,000 – putting the ​area fourth among the East of England’s 45 local authorities for annual growth.

​The best annual growth in the region was in South Norfolk, where properties increased on average by 7.6 per cent, to £279,000. ​At the other end of the scale, properties in Broxbourne dropped 4.6 per cent in value, giving an average price of £335,000.

Read more: Want to sell your house or buy one? Here’s what happened to house prices since lockdown

The biggest winners

Owners of flats saw the biggest improvement in property prices in Watford in May – they increased 2.9 per cent, to £270,881 on average. Over the last year, prices rose by 4.3 per cent.

Among other types of property:

Detached: up 1.9 per cent monthly; up 5.9 per cent annually; £839,749 average

Semi-detached: up 2.7 per cent monthly; up 5.7 per cent annually; £473,502 average

Terraced: up 2.3 per cent monthly; up 5 per cent annually; £376,593 average

First-time buyers

First-time buyers in Watford spent an average of £​322,000 on their property – ​£14,000 more than a year ago, ​and ​£59,000 more than in May 2015.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £​413,000 on average in May​ – 28.3 per cent more than first-time buyers.

Read more: The most and least expensive homes sold in Watford during lockdown

How do property prices in Watford compare?

Buyers paid 24.3 per cent more than the average price in the East of England (£291,000) in May for a property in Watford. Across the East of England, property prices are high compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £236,000.

The most expensive properties in the East of England were in Three Rivers – £508,000 on average, and 1.4 times as much as in Watford. Three Rivers properties cost three times as much as homes in Great Yarmouth (£172,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea, where the average May sale price of £1.4 million could buy 16 properties in Burnley (average £88,000).