House prices outside South East still at pre-2008 levels

Alex Johnson

947b1ad7eca1696dff0fd84737cb7dd97c0ec6d1 300x225 House prices outside South East still at pre 2008 levelsThe caveat about all house price and renting statistics is that one size does not fit all – it’s impossible to generalise about overall rises and the ‘London effect’ tends to skew all indices. So it’s worth looking at Countrywide’s latest research which underlines that despite all the headline news, house prices outside London and the South East are below 2008 levels.

Its analysis of Land Registry data reveals that of the 326 Local Authority districts in England, house prices have overtaken their 2008 peak in only a fifth – taking into account inflation, there have been real term price rises in only 11 Local Authorities. And all those are in London.

In over half of Local Authorities (56%) house prices remain at least 5% below peak levels.

The report shows considerable regional variation. So across London, the South East and East of England house prices have surpassed their 2008 peak in 48% of Local Authorities. Outside these areas, it is only in Richmondshire, Warwick, Cheshire West, Isles of Scilly and Cheltenham where house prices have exceeded 2008 levels. Countrywide estimates that at current rates it will take more than five years for prices to return to 2008 levels in the hardest hit local authorities of urban northern England.

Compare this to London, where all but three Boroughs (Newham, Barking & Dagenham and Havering) have passed their 2008 peak. The Land Registry suggests that average London house prices are 9.3% above 2008 levels, in Westminster 40% higher. Hackney has seen the largest increases outside Central London, with average house prices £67,000 higher, or 24% above their peak in 2008.

Grenville Turner, Group CEO of Countrywide said: “While house price rises in London have attracted considerable attention, in many places outside the Capital little has changed since 2010, and house prices remain well below their 2008 peak. To talk of a house price bubble would be to ignore the four fifths of local authorities where prices remain below 2008 levels and in some cases are still falling. There are only five Local Authorities across the whole of the North East, Yorkshire & the Humber, North West, East Midlands, West Midlands and South West where house prices have surpassed 2008 levels.

“With the largest increases in house prices over 2013 confined to London and its commuter belts, the gap between the South East of England and the rest of the country continues to widen. Increases in house price across London are running at around 7 times those outside the Capital. Within London itself there are now 15 Boroughs where house prices stand at least 10% above their 2008 peak. While Central London has performed strongly since 2008, there is clear evidence that house price growth is spilling out into some of the outer Boroughs as buyers look for better value further out.”

Pictured is a 2 bedroom flat for sale for £95,000 in Pittville Circus Road, Cheltenham GL52 on with Philip Pugh and Partners

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