Housing Prices and Sales Show Divide Widening Between North and South for Past Three Years

Housing Prices and Sales Show Divide Widening Between North and South for Past Three Years

The housing market in both the North and the South has been seeing a divide widen over the last three years when it comes to house prices. There is also a difference when it comes to sales. Property sales in the South have dropped by 42 per cent in the last three years and the North has seen a 51 per cent decline according to data from Halifax. The drop in home sales since 2007 across Britain was at 47 per cent with 649,957 homes sold in England and Wales in 2010 compared to 1,222,402 from the previous year.

The area with the largest decline in house prices in the last three years is Newcastle at 28.8 per cent. There was an increase of 4.2 per cent for the area of Barnstaple, Devon. In the past year there was a 10.2 per cent gain in Reading, 9.2 per cent in Dartford, 9.1 per cent in Brighton, and a 9.0 per cent in Cheltenham. Declines for the past year showed a 9.5 per cent drop in Blackburn, 9.0 per cent in Keighley, 8.2 per cent in Castleford and 7.9 per cent in Nuneaton.

London is showing a resistance to the decline in house prices and sales. In North London in the borough of Islington house prices increased by 9.7 per cent over the past year and house sales increased by 22 per cent. The largest increase for the past three years was seen in Brent with 53 per cent. Foreign investment in property in London has helped keep both sales numbers and prices moving upward. Many see the opportunity to have London property during the 2012 Olympics as a good investment.

In response to the North and South "divide" Martin Ellis, a Housing Economist with Halifax, said, "There is a North-South divide coming through clearly both in house prices and in sales. The north is suffering and the South is doing relatively well – if relative is the right phrase in the current environment. The market as a whole has been affected by the financial crisis and recession, but the North has been hit the hardest and households have really been impacted by a lack of growth and rises in unemployment. Economic activity has been better in the South."

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