In the world of property prices, a lot can happen in a year – so it’s no surprise that seeing just how much how prices have changed across England and Wales is distressing. The ONS data reveals the most expensive areas in the UK, confirming the so-called “North-South divide”.
The map reveals the stark contrast between house prices in London vs the rest of the UK, showing that houses in London average over £300,000 compared with the North East, averaging a little over £150,000. The darker the hue of green shows the most expensive areas in the UK, which dominates the lower half of England and Wales by the end of 2014.
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Unsurprisingly, the biggest cluster of the most expensive areas in the UK is the area of London and the Home Counties, with the south coast and popular commuter belt around the capital coming a close second. On the other hand, the cheapest, lightest green areas are pockets across Wales and the North of England – when selling your home in these areas, you will have no problem with getting a quick house sale.
The reason for this is simple; London is becoming much too expensive for many families to afford to live in. People are choosing to sell up, move to rural areas and commute in, for more disposal income and a higher quality of life. Consequently, the so-called ‘London commuter belt’ (the areas bordering London) is climbing the ranks in terms of demand, therefore pushing up house prices.
Jeremy Helsby, chief executive of global real estate company Savills, muses that the current house price explosion in London has caused rising numbers of people to sell up and move out into Surrey, Kent or even Cambridge and Oxford, including himself. These counties are far enough out of the capital to benefit from significantly lower house prices, but close enough to still be within a reasonable distance for a commute.
“People are selling up in London – they’ve had a very strong rise over the last two to three years – especially families with kids who decide they can’t get the right schools and want more space.”Jeremy Helsby, chief executive of Savills
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