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North-South House Price Divide 'Widening'

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United Kingdom  London  Rightmove  residential real estate  House Price Index  Miles Shipside  residential real estate market  Jonathan Hewlett 

North-South House Price Divide 'Widening'

By - Wednesday 19 October 2011

The gap between property values in the south of the UK and in its northern regions is widening, according to the latest data published by Rightmove. Despite the organisation's October House Price Index registering a monthly rise in house prices of 2.8 per cent, the firm claimed that this does not tell the whole story about the UK's residential real estate market.

In the south, the average asking price for a property increased by 4.7 per cent, while in the north, values fell back by 0.7 per cent in the same month. The contrast is clearer when you examine the average cost of buying a home in each region, with this figure standing at GBP 336,743 in the south, compared to GBP 164,347 in the north. Director of Rightmove Miles Shipside noted that the hike in asking prices is a sign of increased demand for property. He went on to say: "The reality is that there is further evidence of the two-tier twist which is dogging the return to more widespread liquidity in the housing market."

Mr Shipside went on to point out that London has experienced the greatest equity growth of any region. However, research released by Savills demonstrates that even in the capital, there is a growing gap between prime properties and those situated in less-desirable parts of the city. According to the firm, residential real estate in prime, central locations has seen its resale value rise by 87 per cent over the past six years, in comparison to a 25 per cent hike for mainstream London.

Among the districts to have experienced the biggest price rises are Mayfair, Marylebone and Knightsbridge. Head of agency in the central London market at Savills Jonathan Hewlett commented that the rise in Mayfair's popularity with the most affluent buyers in the city "has been helped by a general improvement in the amenities the area offers to wealthy residents, whether they live there full-time or for only part of the year".

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