A tale of two housing markets: north vs south
Simon Read is Personal Finance Editor at The Independent. He edits the Saturday Your Money section and writes the Daily Money column and Wednesday’s Midweek Money section in i newspaper. He also writes for the news and business pages of the Independent and i newspaper and is a regular money commentator on TV station London Live. He has won numerous awards including Consumer Finance Journalist of the Year.
Monday 28 May 2012
The north-south divide in house prices is widening, according to figures for May published today. Rising property values in London helped push the latest national Hometrack house price index into positive territory, despite seven out of 10 regions posting falling or static prices.
Prices climbed 0.6 per cent in May in the capital, helping prices nationally to a 0.2 per cent increase. East Anglia and the South East posted positive rises of 0.1 per cent, but prices were flat in the East Midlands, the South West and West Midlands. Meanwhile a fall of 0.1 per cent was experienced in the North East, North West, Wales and Yorkshire & Humberside regions. Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said: "The growth in the number of new sales being agreed slowed significantly in May, but that mirrors the pattern seen in previous years with overall levels of demand and sales agreed slowing after Easter".
Outside London, Virginia Water in Surrey has moved to the top of a list of the town with the most homes worth £1m or more. Some 48.5 per cent of homes in the town are worth seven figures or more, according to a new survey by Primelocation.com.
Average home prices in Virginia Water are boosted by the Wentworth Estate, which encompasses one of Europe's prime residential areas. Second in the millionaire town list is Radlett in Hertfordshire – with 47 per cent of homes valued at £1m or higher – followed by Cobham in Surrey with 39.5 per cent. Last year's number one, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, slips to fifth with 35.8 per cent, just behind Chalfont St Giles – also in Bucks – with 36.4 per cent.
Some rental properties in Virginia Water are achieving monthly rates of £15,000.
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