North-south property divide widens as London house prices rise at fastest rate since recession and north of England market stagnates


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The Independent Online

The north-south divide in house prices is widening further as prices in London continue to rise at a rate not seen since the recession, in contrast to a stagnating market in north of England.

Land Registry market data released on Monday offered no sign of the capital’s property boom abating soon, with the average selling price of a property reaching a new record of £374,568. In the affluent borough of Kensington and Chelsea the average price of a property now stands at £1.1m – a 12 per cent increase since March 2012.

But while prices across the capital increased by an average of 9 per cent last year, home-owners in the North-west and North-east of England have seen the average value of their homes drop by  5 per cent. In the North-east the average value of homes has dropped to £97,033.

Chi Onwurah, the Labour MP for Newcastle Central, told The Independent: “Looking at this stark difference in house prices, it is a clear indicator of the Government’s failure to invest in growth in our regions.”

Experts have warned of the danger of a market that is approaching a tipping point again. They said the rise in property prices in London had been triggered by international buyers from Asia capitalising on strong exchange rates and a weak pound.