2003 ‘The Year of the North’

According to the latest house price survey, the gap between house prices in the north and the south is slowly closing.

The survey found that overall, house prices increased by 1.5% in September underlining the ongoing strength of the market, but that the north and Wales had seen the biggest increases since 2002.

Increases of 38% in the north and 32% in Yorkshire and the Humber were some of the more dramatic figures published in the survey, wheras in the south east the results were mixed.

Prices in Greater London increased by 2.1% in the third quarter, more than reversing the 0.7% fall in the second quarter but despite this rise, the annual house price inflation in London has continued to slow.

North of the border has seen strong price rises over the past six months, causing the annual rate of house price inflation to more than double in the past year, from 7% in 2002 Q3 to 20% a year on.

Chief Economist for Halifax Martin Ellis, said: ‘There has been a considerable widening in the north/south property divide over the last ten years.

This gap has narrowed a little recently as house price growth in the north has outstripped the south. Continuing housing market buoyancy in the north over the second half of the year combined with a pause for breath in the south should close the gap further.

‘Property prices in the south will, however, remain significantly higher than those in the north.’