Property Prices in the South of England Double Those in the North
9th November 2011
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At this time last year, Northfields posed the question on our blog, “Is It Worth Moving North to Get a Cheaper Property?” . Well, one thing is for sure, you certainly would get more property for your money. According to the latest Rightmove House Price Index, you could literally buy two houses in the North for the price of one in the South.

Rightmove’s latest House Price Index saw a new record in the gap between house prices in the North and those in the South. Prices in the south sat at an average of £336,743, which is now more than double the average in the north which came in at only £164,347. To buyers the prices in the north look very attractive, but to home owners the prospects in the south of England look far more promising.

When looking at figures from across the nation as a whole there was a 2.8% average increase in new sellers’ asking prices compared to last month. However, when you break those figures down geographically it is painfully obvious that it was 4.7% uplift in the markets in London, the South East, the South West and East Anglia that were responsible for the buoyant numbers. On the other hand, the northern regions (Wales, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, North West and North) actually recorded a 0.7% month-on-month fall.

In fact, properties came to the market at all-time price highs in London and the South East despite continuing uncertainty in the global financial markets. London’s average asking price was £450,210, representing a 2.6% rise on the previous record set in June this year.

How Have Prices Changed Since the Beginning of the Credit Crunch?
Four years ago when the credit crunch started property prices for homes new to the market have risen by 5.4% in the south but fallen by 9.6% in the north. Over the course of 2011, sellers in the north have had to reduce their asking prices by 2.6% on average. Compare that to the figures in the south, where new sellers felt confident enough to raise their prices by 3.9%.

Why Are House Prices Decreasing in the North?
A trend toward lowering house prices tends to be precipitated by:
- negative sentiment
- uncertainty around employment
- tightening of finances

6 out of 7 of the UK areas with the highest unemployment rates are situated in the north. It is reasonable to assume then that worries over employment, particularly in the public sector, will be a major factor in the lowering of asking prices and in transaction levels in the property market in the north. Putting further pressure on northern house prices is the criteria set by lenders who are still favouring deposit rich buyers – another area where the less fortunate north has fared poorly.

So Is It Worth Moving North for a Cheaper Property?
If you are moving from the south of England, particularly from London you will benefit from the large gap in prices. As Miles Shipside at Rightmove points out “the best equity growth has been seen in the London market”, so if you have been struggling to amass enough equity to trade up, moving North will mean that suddenly your equity would double. With a higher level of equity you would be able to attract low mortgage rate deals that lenders are only offering to those people with high deposits.

The downside of course, is that moving north will mean a lower salary for most people, less job security, with fewer jobs available. The other factor to consider is that if you do make the move north and then decide to move back south at a later date, you may very well find yourself priced out of the market. The bottom line is that if you have an secure job in the north with an assured salary then the boost in lifestyle and the corresponding buying power you will wield in the property market, could see your living standards improve dramatically should you decide to move north.

If you have decided to up sticks and move North, Northfields Estates can still help. As a member of the Home Sale Network Northfields Estates has proudly been hand picked by Cartus, the premier provider of global relocation. Each year Cartus relocates over 130,000 families, to over 160 countries worldwide. With nearly 30 years experience of the UK property market, Cartus knows what makes a good estate agent.

Cartus uses Network members to help buy and sell homes for relocating families. The Network is highly selective and membership is based on certain criteria being met such as quality of service, local knowledge and professionalism resulting in membership being approved on an invitation basis only.

If you are selling your property here in London we can give you a free valuation for your home - request your valuation online here or call 0208 840 6666.

And if you are buying in the North we can still help by referring you to a reliable agent in your chosen area. Call 0208 840 6666 or contact our Relocations Manager Shellie Ross at for help with your big move.

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