ROSSENDALE and Blackburn with Darwen are the only places in East Lancashire to have seen a fall in average house prices, according to latest figures.

The UK House Price Index shows that the area was going against the trend across England where prices grew by 2.9 per cent in the year to May 2020.

The statistics show that the average house price in Rossendale went down from £135,405 to £133,110 - a drop of 1.7 per cent.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported last month that Blackburn with Darwen was the only place to show a fall in the yearly figures, a month earlier in April.

However, despite Rossendale leapfrogging Blackburn with Darwen for the highest fall in prices, the area still showed a drop. Prices are cheaper by £18, now standing at £114,650 compared to £114,668 in May 2019.

Elsewhere, average house prices rose the most in Hyndburn as they increased by 14.3 per cent to over the £100k mark ­— from £92,903 to £106,199.

Also peaking beyond the century mark was Pendle where it registered £109,562 from £99,373 — an increase of 10.3 per cent.

Then in Ribble Valley, average prices rose by nine per cent from £212,115 to £231,188.

The rise in Burnley was 2.2 per cent, going from £85,672 to £87,565.

The coronavirus lockdown took its toll on the market but Blackburn with Darwen bucked the trend for the most property sales with 128 in May 2020, compared to 173 in 2019.

Despite lockdown, estate agents were still selling and following through online with some staff returning in May before being back to capacity by July.

Julia Bracewell, sales manager from Entwistle Green in Blackburn said that their estate agents noticed good sales levels despite the pandemic.

She said: "It really has been busy since we opened in May and been rushed off our feet.

"It is gaining momentum and everything we have put on the market has got interest in it.

"It is good that Blackburn with Darwen has had the most sales and it surprising considering the lockdown but people have been spending so much time at home and they have thought about upsizing and maybe having a better family home."

Burnley also broke through the century mark with 105 sales then Rossendale on 89, Pendle on 86, Hyndburn 72 and Ribble Valley 54.

Nationally, estate agents have been talking about the show a 2.9 per increase in May 2020 vs May 2019

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, said: “A significant hike in house prices and so quickly despite so many experts calling the death of the UK housing market. Well, those so-called experts look a tad stupid now, don’t they?

"Of course, it is early days but such a dramatic change in the landscape speaks volumes about the resilience of the UK property market. Those economists and such like that seek to bolster their credentials by spouting unfounded prophecies of doom, as they have repeatedly done over so many things in recent years not least Brexit, should take a good look at the housing stats and then take a good look at themselves.

"The property market is one of the cornerstones of the UK economy and to continuously talk it into the ground for no other reason than to gain column inches is irresponsible, to say the least. Luckily the facts and the current reality we’re seeing on the ground paint a very contrasting picture.”