Property price gap continues to widen

Property price gap continues to widen

The gap in property prices in evidence between the north and south of the UK has been apparent for many years. In particular when the recession hit, homes in the north saw their value drop as those in London and the rest of the south held on steadfastly, seeing far smaller falls. 

The gap that this caused is once again becoming prominent after a few years of reportedly narrowing, however, a report has claimed. New data from Nationwide shows that in September, house prices across the country climbed by an average of 0.5 per cent. This meant that the annual rise for the UK as a whole sat at some 3.8 per cent. 

However, when we compare this to the way London has performed in the last year, it's clear that the south is having a far better time of it in the property market than the north at the moment. On a quarterly basis, London saw its property prices rise by some 10.6 per cent. 

This was a rise from the 7.5 per cent that was in evidence as of the second quarter of this year, and far ahead of the 1.8 per cent that was seen in the rest of the UK as a whole throughout the third quarter of 2015. 

The good news is that the UK as a whole is still seeing prices increasing, with only one region having experienced any sort of fall across the year so far. The north-west has witnessed a drop in values of 0.6 per cent in the year to the end of August this year. 

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said that it was clear London has been the best performer in the country over the course of the last year: "The capital has continued to see price growth at or above the rate in the UK overall over the past four quarters and the annual rate of price growth in London is currently the highest in the country," he said. 

Speaking of the UK as a whole, he said: "The data in recent months provides some encouragement that the pace of house price increases may be stabilising close to the pace of earnings growth. However, the risk remains that construction activity will lag behind strengthening demand, putting upward pressure on house prices and eventually reducing affordability."