October house prices up but north/south divide worsens

October house prices up but north/south divide worsens

New figures from the Halifax show a 1.2 per cent increase in house prices in October, however compared with a year ago they have fallen by 1.8 per cent.

In the three months to the end of October, house prices fell by 0.3 per cent, compared with the previous quarter, representing the first fall since June, according to the Halifax’s own mortgage data.

However, the Halifax said that despite the difficult economic climate the housing market had remained “highly resilient”.

It also said that it expected the exceptionally low official interest rates to continue to support the housing market.

The Halifax’s findings broadly support Nationwide Building Society’s recent figures showing a year-on-year rise of 0.8 per cent in October.

Over the country as a whole, there is concern that the north/south disparity in house prices is increasing as a result of the Olympics.

Recent Land Registry figures indicate significant differences in price changes in different parts of the UK.

While house prices in London increased by 0.3 per cent in September compare with the previous month, they fell by 3.9 per cent in the North East of England.

On an annual basis the disparity is even more pronounced, with London prices increasing by 2.7 per cent while prices in the North East of England fell by 8.2 per cent.

Rightmove has also reported an increase in the north south divide, with an average asking price of £336,743 in the south of England, compared with £164,347 in the north, a difference of £170,000.

The disparity is particularly noticeable for properties near the Olympic venues, which are commanding premium prices.

Rightmove based its figures on 98,402 asking prices for houses placed on sale by agents between 11 September and 8 October and advertised on Rightmove.co.uk.

The difference between prices in the north and south of England is now the widest ever recorded by Rightmove.

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