House prices dropped by 1.1 per cent in Watford in April, new figures show.

But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area achieve 4.5 per cent annual growth.

The average Watford house price in April was £366,961, Land Registry figures show – a 1.1 per cent decrease on March.

Over the month, the picture was worse than that across the East of England, where prices increased 0.3 per cent, and Watford outperformed the 1.9 per cent drop for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Watford rose by £16,000 – putting the area 44th among the East of England’s 50 local authorities for annual growth.

The best annual growth in the region was in Tendring, where property prices increased on average by 16.5 per cent, to £254,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in Welwyn Hatfield gained 2 per cent in value, giving an average price of £404,000.

Winners and Losers

Owners of detached houses fared worst in Watford in April – they dropped 1.7 per cent in price, to £866,357 on average. But over the last year, prices rose by 4.9 per cent.

Among other types of property:

Semi-detached: down 1 per cent monthly; up 6.1 per cent annually; £489,184 average

Terraced: down 1.1 per cent monthly; up 5.6 per cent annually; £389,376 average

Flats: down 1.2 per cent monthly; up 2.4 per cent annually; £267,327 average

First steps on the property ladder

First-time buyers in Watford spent an average of £326,000 on their property – £13,000 more than a year ago, and £37,000 more than in April 2016.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £422,000 on average in April – 29.5 per cent more than first-time buyers.

How do property prices in Watford compare?

Buyers paid 16.9 per cent more than the average price in the East of England (£314,000) in April for a property in Watford. Across the East of England, property prices are high compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £251,000.

The most expensive properties in the East of England were in St Albans – £543,000 on average, and 1.5 times as much as in Watford. St Albans properties cost 2.9 times as much as homes in Great Yarmouth (£186,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea, where the average April sale price of £1.1 million could buy 11 properties in East Ayrshire (average £105,000).