House price ‘chasm’ as homes in South cost £170,000 more

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House asking prices in the South have reached more than double those in the North, creating a record divide, a report from Rightmove found.

Southerners are typically putting their homes on the market for £336,743, compared with £164,347 in the Northern regions, sparking fears that a ‘two-tier twist’ could be hampering more widespread growth in the market.

The £170,000 chasm is the largest in monetary terms since Rightmove’s records began in 2002.

The monthly index revealed an overall 2.8 per cent increase in asking prices, a jump of £6,533 from mid September to reach £239,672 in mid October.

But this rise was driven by the South, including London, the South East, the South West and East Anglia, which experienced a 4.7 per cent upsurge overall.

Meanwhile, the North, which for the purposes of the survey included Wales, the West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, the North West and the North of England, fell back by 0.7 per cent in the space of a month, to levels first achieved more than six years ago in May 2005. Properties in some of the South regions came onto the market at an all-time high. In London, the typical price was £450,210 – 2.6 per cent higher than a previous record set in June. Kensington and Chelsea was the best-performing area of the capital, with prices up 6.6 per cent in a month to typically reach £1,917,895.

Compared with the start of the credit crunch four years ago, prices of properties coming to market have risen by 5.4 per cent in the South but tumbled by 9.6 per cent in the North, Rightmove said.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “Wider access to mortgages and rising asking prices are early signs of increasing demand. However, the reality is that there is further evidence of a two-tier twist which is dogging the return to more widespread liquidity in the housing market.”