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North/South divide in house sales

North/South divide in house sales

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 31/12/2015
First Published: 31/12/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The south has often asserted itself as the more powerful market in terms of housing, but as sales began to soften over the year a clear north/south divide opened up, with house markets in the north of the country proving to be more resilient.

Sales slip in the south

Research carried out by Halifax on the statistics released by the Land Registry revealed that home sales in England and Wales in the first eight months of this year were 8% lower than in 2014, with all regions posting a drop. However, by examining the results more closely, it becomes apparent that the greatest declines occurred in the southern areas: Greater London posted the largest regional decline in sales (-14%) and 10 of the towns recording the biggest decreases were found to be in London and the South East.

Meanwhile, the North East saw the smallest drop (-3%) in sales. The north was also host to towns that bucked the overall trend and posted the largest increases in sales: all 10 towns that experienced the greatest increases were outside southern England, with the biggest rises seen in Salford in the North West (23%) and Pontefract in West Yorkshire (20%).

Craig McKinlay of Halifax attributes some of the overall softening in house sales to "an acute shortage of properties for sales", which served to add to "the constraints on activity". However, he added that several towns, which were largely in the northern area of the country, were able to post more positive results, a circumstance that could have been brought about by the "relatively low" prices of the north.

New Year, new home?

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.