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Location, Location, Location: London Vs the Rest of the UK

Ever sat on the London Underground dreaming of rolling hills, baby lambs and country roads where the kids can ride their bikes? You’re probably not alone, but taking the plunge and upping sticks to the countryside may be an irrevocable decision! And with London house prices increasing rapidly, moving out of the capital means you probably won’t ever make it back. So, questioning whether to live in London vs the rest of the UK can be a tough decision to make.

The price gap in London vs the rest of the UK

The property price gap between London and the rest of the UK has reached ultimate heights. The record divide, revealed in data from The Land Registry, shows:

A typical London property now costs £463,872, compared with £180,252 across England and Wales.

It is fair to say that buying a property in London is going to cost you over two and a half times more than buying elsewhere. So, if you have got a seven-figure budget, you could easily get yourself an Islington town house, or become the proud owner of a Scottish stately home. On the other hand, you might like a one bed flat in London’s Kings Cross? But bear in mind that you can get yourself a nine bedroom mansion in Devon for the same price.

It sounds ludicrous, but people often choose to squeeze themselves into tiny London flats at inflated prices because it suits their lifestyle or is convenient. But which location suits your lifestyle best?

To quote Lord Harold Samuel – it’s all about ‘location, location, location’. If you want or have children, it is becoming increasingly popular to move to a quieter, more rural location to bring them up. However, young people may prefer to live in The City to be in close proximity to social hot-spots and a plethora of companies to further their career.

In London, the indicators of an overheated market are showing and then some; recent data from Nationwide Building Society reveals that London property prices have risen by 18% from the year before. With supply being limited, and demand being high due to the allure of London’s trendy image, jobs etc., buyers are increasingly desperate, prices remain sky high and the only way is up.

Dorset, United Kingdom | Photo credit: John Gomez / Shutterstock

This trend leads to a shortage of stock for sale in the capital, which results in quick house sales and auctions consisting of frenzied gazumping and last minute offers. People are holding on to their homes in London; less property available means less choice for buyers meaning hugely inflated prices on desirable properties, which isn’t ideal.

Moreover, building companies are having to build to keep up with the demand, thus resulting in a loss of parks and green space. Not to mention, all new properties are having to be built increasingly close together to cater for as many consumers as possible. Even if you get along with your neighbours, living on top of them is never going to be practical.

This isn’t just a matter of the North/South divide anymore, according to Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Property Finance. He says:

“The contrast between London and the rest of the UK grows starker by the day. London has almost become a country within a country”

Essentially, London (vs the rest of the UK) has made up its own property rules, and shows no sign of conforming to the rest of the UK any time soon. So, where would you prefer to live?

RELATED POST: Location is everything when buying!

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