View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a532718
House prices: widest ever gulf between north and south
House prices in the south are now more than double those in the north, according to property website Rightmove.
House prices in the south are now more than double those in the north, according to Rightmove.
Asking prices in southern regions, such as London and East Anglia, rose by 4.7% in October, while northern regions, including Wales and the West and East Midlands, fell 0.7%.
The difference means the average property price in the south is now £336,743, compared with £164,347 in the north – the widest gulf ever recorded, according to the property website.
The national average increase, meanwhile, was 2.8%, with prices 1.2% higher than this time last year.
Mortgage approvals have increased to their highest level since November 2009, indicating a slight easing in the mortgage famine, Rightmove said. Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) last week showed the number of loans taken out is up 30% on last year, with lending levels to both first-time buyers and home movers at their highest for over a year.
Miles Shipside, the director of Rightmove, said: ‘Wider access to mortgages and rising asking prices are early signs of increasing demand, giving home owners some grounds for hope of a market recovery. However, 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.
‘Those trading up will benefit from already being on the housing ladder, though the gap to trade up to the next rung is a bigger financial leap when prices rise like this and desirable homes are in short supply,’ he said. ‘Those who are not property owners, such as first-time buyers or those taking an ownership break in the rented sector, will either have to spend more or compromise on what they can afford.’
A recent survey by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), meanwhile, showed that although house prices have been inching up in the past three months, they are still 1.3% down on last year.
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