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The North-South property divide gets wider

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The traditional North-South divide in the housing market – Britons’ most popular saving and investment  has widened again after three years during which it started to close up.-more->

Halifax, the country’s biggest mortgage lender, said that the gap had now become wider than it was 10 years ago, with the average property price in the South 1.59 times higher than the North, compared to 1.43 times higher at the end of 1996.

Potential housebuyers, especially first-timers, had a difficult time at the end of last year as the cost of the average property leapt by more than £7,500 in the final months of the year. House prices rose nationally by an average of 4.2% in the last quarter to an average of £186,954.

Northern Ireland recorded the biggest rise as more people in the province made their saving and investment into property, with an increase of 15.9% in the last quarter to an average of £186,954.

London and the South East were buoyant, with the average price of a property in the capital increasing to £287,176 on the back of a 6.6% increase in the autumn.

The region where the least saving and investment into property saw the smallest price increase was the North, where prices rose by just 0.9%.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, said: “All parts of the UK have seen substantial house price gains over the past decade, with Northern Ireland recording the biggest gain since 1996, boosted by a 53% rise in 2006.”



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