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The Great House Price Divide

Alex Johnson

eec6f32ec6447b2757033c2748fe4de18a10c0f2 300x200 The Great House Price DivideA new report from the Smith Institute using HM Land Registry data comparing 2007 to the present day underlines the geographic split in England and Wales in terms of house prices. ‘The Great House Price Divide’ says that house prices have fallen the most in Blaenau Gwent where they are down by almost half (47.7%) and the average cost of a home is now £46,356.

Other places to see major price falls are Hartlepool (down 41.9%), Knowsley (36.2%), Blackpool (34.5%), and Liverpool (33%). Unsurprisingly, house prices have risen the most in the City of Westminster, up 43.2% to make the average price of a home £863,257. Other huge rises in London include Kensington & Chelsea (up 42.8%), Hackney (35.6%), Islington (27.6%), and Camden (26.9%).

Across the country average prices are down by £15,000. In London the average home homeowner is £40,000 wealthier, in the North East they are £30,000 poorer. An average homeowner in Hartlepool will have lost £44,000 on the value of their home since 2007 – the average homeowner in Kensington and Chelsea will have seen the value of their home jump by £351,000.

Overall, the report suggests that average house prices in England and Wales are 9% down on their peak in 2007, although in London they are up by 12%. So while the average house price in England and Wales is £166,000, in London it is almost £400,000. This means that the gap in average house prices between London and England and Wales has widened from 1.9 times in October 2007 to 2.4 times in October 2013.

“Beyond the headlines of double digit price rises in inner London, the report is a salutary reminder that average house prices for the country, which discount inflation, remain below their 2007 peak,” said Paul Hackett, Director, Smith Institute. “It is also important to recognise that the divergence in house prices is symptomatic of deep-rooted and persistent uneven economic development, with jobs and growth concentrated in London and the South East. Increasing numbers of those looking to buy in these high demand areas will be excluded from homeownership.

“Millions of home owners have seen the value of their homes collapse. This not only reduces some people’s personal wealth and that of regions, but also undermines their ambition to move on. In many parts of the country homeowners, particularly those who bought homes at the peak of the market, will now be in negative equity. The problem could become very serious in low value areas if interest rates rise.”

Festive addresses
Our look at festive addresses continues with this three bedroom bungalow on for £335,000 (pictured above) with Warren Powell Richards in Christmas Pie Avenue, Normandy, Guildford GU3.

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