Tale of two halves as North suffers more than South
Britain's north-south divide is turning into a chasm as a shuddering recovery and steep cuts to public spending hit the North far more than the South.
Two sets of figures to be published today, covering business failures and house prices, will again show that the economic picture in the two halves of the country is starkly different.
Begbies Traynor, the insolvency specialist, will report a "material increase in problems in the past quarter across the North East, North West, Yorkshire, the Midlands, the East of England and Wales compared to decreasing distress in London and the South East".
Against a UK average of 2 per cent, the number of businesses facing both significant and critical financial distress in the past quarter fell by 6 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively, for London and the South East. But all other regions in England and Wales saw rises.
And by far the hardest hit was the North East, with a 19 per cent rise in business distress, followed by the North West with 12 per cent. Yorkshire, the Midlands, Wales and the South West saw increases of 10 per cent.
At the same time the property website Rightmove will report the widest gulf in average asking prices for houses that it has ever recorded, with asking prices in the South in October averaging £336,743, more than double the figure in the North (£164,347). The national average asking price was £239,672. And while there was a 2.8 per cent rise in asking prices nationwide, Rightmove says this masks what it calls a "two-tier UK property market".
The website will say that asking prices in the south rose by 4.7 per cent; in the north they fell back by 0.7 per cent to levels not seen for six years. It will also indicate that the highest level of mortgage approvals since November 2009 points to a slight easing in Britain's mortgage famine. However, it will warn that public sector job cuts will continue to impact on prices in the North.
19 per cent: The rise in business distress levels in the North East in the past quarter
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...