House Prices: the North-South Divide

This week, new figures were released suggesting that the UK housing market is booming, with data from the Office of National Statistics showing that house prices increased by 11.7% in the year to August 2014. However, a closer examination of the figures reveals that this increase was largely driven by a significant increase in property prices in the nation’s capital, London.

Significantly, a report from The Telegraph this week revealed that the gap in house prices between the North and South of the country is widening.  As shown in new data from the Office of National Statistics, in August this year, the gap between average property prices in London and the North East grew to its widest in history. The data also revealed that the average house price in London is a staggering £514,000, compared to only £154,000 in the North East of the country.

The rise in house prices in the capital has had a number of consequences for would-be buyers and housing affordability remains a serious issue in London. Indeed, house prices in London are surging at a rate of almost 20% a year and more homes in London are even less affordable now than during the previous housing market peak back in 2007.

However, the Office of National Statistics data also demonstrated that whilst London house prices have shown the largest annual growth, across the UK, house prices are also showing a strong increase. It’s been revealed that in the North West of England house prices have risen by 5.6pc, in line with the economic recovery in cities such as Manchester, which has had a subsequent knock on effect on the property market. Unlike in London, the growth in the property market in these parts of the country has, in fact, had a positive impact for buyers and there’s some good news to be had. For example, as outlined in The Independent, it’s now also easier to buy property than at the start of the financial crisis in 2008, in numerous regions throughout the UK such as the North West.

 With numerous reports, such as these, emerging, the property marketing can sometimes seem like a rather confusing and daunting place. However, if you’re thinking of buying a new property, Search Mortgage Solutions can help. We’re an experienced mortgage broker in Manchester, and our Manchester-based expert advisors can help you find the most appropriate mortgage for your individual needs and requirements. For more information about our services please don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our knowledgeable team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.