According to property experts the North-South divide has narrowed and the average house price in Britain has reached a third of a million pounds for the first time. Prospective buyers face having to pay record prices for newly-marketed properties in all regions and countries of Britain – except London
Rightmove said demand continues to massively exceed supply, particularly in northern regions, while in contrast asking prices in London are at a “virtual standstill”. In May sellers were typically asking for a record £333,564. The average asking price has jumped by £5,767 – or 1.8 per cent – since the previous all-time high recorded in April.
According to Rightmove, on average house prices outside southern England have increased by around £19,497 over the past year, while in London they are up by £1,547. The largest increases over the past year have been seen in Wales, at 13 per cent, the North-West at 11.1 per cent and Yorkshire and the Humber at 10.5 per cent.
Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister, said: “Buyer affordability is increasingly stretched, but there’s obviously some elasticity left to stretch a bit more as many buyers are squeezing their way into higher price bands. This high demand, with both willingness and ability to pay more, has pushed the average price of property coming to market to a new all-time high of a third of a million pounds. In another twist, it is the regions of Britain further north that are leading the way, with some degree of catching up between average prices in London and the North.
Comment was made that, “While the gap remains very large, with average prices in London still 2.9 times higher than those in the North, this ratio is at its smallest since 2013. The pandemic has given a greater focus on the home, and in 2020 we saw a surge in southern coastal and rural areas. So far 2021 is proving to be the year of the northern mover, not only satisfying their pent-up housing needs, but in doing so also narrowing some of the huge price gap with London.”
Managing director of Yorkshire-based Manning Stainton, Mark Manning, said: “Across our region we’re seeing a continued surge in the volume of new buyers entering the market. Of particular note is the vast number of those buyers arriving from other destinations around the country, particularly the South. This surge in buyer activity combined with a relative shortage of new properties coming to market has had the inevitable effect of creating a significant surge in prices with buyers clamouring to get their hands on most listings that hit the market. We can see little sign of this abating and would predict that, even with the end of the present stamp duty incentive, prices will continue to rise through the rest of this year and likely beyond.”
Managing director at Munday’s estate agents in London, Becky Munday, said: “In London, we’re seeing immediate knock-on effects of a working-from-home culture take hold, coupled with the vanishing act of most international buyers who have part supported and underpinned the capital’s economy.”