House price recovery creates north-south divide

Looked at by region, the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber regions all show negative or flat year-on-year price changes while the annual increase of prices in the South East, the South West and London averages 6.1%.

House prices in the five most expensive local authorities (all in London) increased by an average of 1.8% between November and December 2009 while two of the five least expensive areas (all in the North) showed house prices falling month on month.

Terraced properties, a more common property type in the North, are 2.7% up year on year while flats, the most common property type in London, are up 3.5%.

The regional summary clearly highlights the divide with prices in London and the Home Counties outpacing stalled house prices in the North.

Robert Bartlett, Chesterton Humberts’s CEO, said: "We have been highlighting the fractured nature of the housing market recovery for several months. The general outlook remains positive but as the Poll of Polls clearly shows, the market in the South is far stronger than in the northern regions.

"The top of the market is recovering more quickly than the lower end, which also reflects this regional disjoint as the most expensive properties are all in and around London and properties at the bottom of the market are further north. Buoyed by foreign buyers and recovery in the financial sector, property prices in and around London, the South East and South West have proven resilient.

"Sales in our northern offices are far more price sensitive. We may not have seen the full downward market correction here yet."

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