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House prices rise but north-south divide grows

Almost half of postcodes in London registered a property price increase, but homeowners in the north haven't been so lucky.


by Michelle McGagh on Mar 04, 2013 at 00:01

House prices rise but north-south divide grows

House prices across the country rose by 0.1% on average in February, but the north-south divide is widening and almost half of London postcodes have increased in value.

House price date from Hometrack showed headline property prices increased 0.1% in February, in line with data from Nationwide last week which recorded a 0.2% increase last month.

However, not all postcodes are showing an increase. While 14.8% of postcodes across the country showed a rise, 8% registered a fall.

The house price increases have been concentrated in the south of the country, with losses in the north – reinforcing the north-south property divide. Of markets registering a rise in prices, 74% were in London and the south-east, with 48% of London postcodes seeing property values increase in February.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said: ‘The impetus for improved market conditions and higher prices has been driven by London and the Home Counties of southern England where there is the greatest mismatch between supply and demand.

‘Prices remain under downward pressure in Northern regions where the trend is tipped towards price falls.’

Prices in the north-east have fallen 0.2%, and 0.1% in both the north-west and Yorkshire and Humberside.

The good news is the number of new buyers registering with agents in February has increased 14% and the number of new properties coming to the market has risen 8.7%, albeit from a low base.

Hometrack expects supply and demand to continue to grow over the next few months.

‘Looking ahead to spring we expect both demand and supply to grow. However, higher stamp duty costs in southern England will remain a disincentive to sell, creating scarcity and a support to headline prices,’ said Donnell.

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