Britain’s housing market divide narrows as north outperforms south

Britain's housing market divide narrows as north outperforms south


Britain’s traditionally divided housing market is taking definite steps towards leveling the playing field as prices grow in the north. Data from Rightmove reveals average asking prices rose by 0.4 per cent from a month ago to reach a high of £309,439. Experts further forecast that parts of northern England are expected to sustain the recent upsurge in value. Conversely, the south is dealing with “challenging” conditions brought on by the capital’s house prices slipping below the national average. 


Property stock, on the other hand, varies considerably between the north and south of the country. In the south, the number of properties available for sale jump 17.5 per, putting downward pressure on prices, while the north experienced a 4.3per cent drop in properties for sale. This demand, fueled by affordable prices, has meant the number of properties left available to buy has dwindled in the north. Whereas growth of house prices in cities such as London, Oxford, and Cambridge has stagnated as a result of having touched an affordability threshold.


Read more: Number of homes to let diminish as landlords exit


Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “At an initial glance all of this fits with a theme of ‘steady as she goes’ as the spring market concludes. However, if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that the main driver is good buyer demand in the comparatively stock-starved northern half of Britain’s housing market.”


Read more: Rents in UK experience 1.2% year on year increase


Recently released reports further reveal that asking prices in the capital have fallen over the past year. Dropping by one per cent, the price of the average London property now stands at £637,746 according to the Rightmove House Price Index. Struggling with issues of increasing unaffordability brought on by years of rapid growth, living in London is particularly hard on younger buyers forced to rent expensive accommodations in the city. Moreover, with expensive rents eating up most of the paycheck saving for a deposit remains a well-intentioned ambition at best.


Although house hunters are greeting drop in house prices and increased supply with enthusiasm, for a more sustained and meaningful outcome, the north-south property market rebalancing act will have to continue over an extended period of time.


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21st June 2018