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Check out the bit at the bottom of this article: "Across the UK, only one in 10 of the 22-29 age group earned enough to buy a property with a 10% deposit - half as many as in 2000. As a result, only about 20% of homeowners are in the 20-24 age group, compared with 30% in 1996."

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North-south property divide widens again

Hilary Osborne

Monday June 19, 2006

House prices in the north have fallen behind those in the south once more after catching up for the past four years. Photograph: PA

The north-south divide in house prices is starting to widen once more after four years in which property values in the north started to catch up, a property website said today.

Rightmove said a mini-boom in the south was the main driver behind the 0.8% price rise across England and Wales in June, which pushed the average asking price nationwide to £211,442.

The 6.4% rise in asking prices since last June disguises major differences across the regions.

Rightmove's figures show that prices in the south are up 9.4%, while those in the north have risen by just 2.7%.

Sellers in greater London are now marketing their homes for £33,106 (11.7%) more than in June last year, at an average of £315,224, while those in the north of England are asking just £158 (0.1%) more, with an average of £150,495.

According to Rightmove, property is now 55% more expensive in southern regions than the rest of England and Wales, up from a low of 46% in September last year.

It said the resurgence of prices in the south was led by increased demand for properties at the top of the market from cash-rich buyers.

Access to money other than through mortgages meant that buyers in the south were less likely to be restricted by affordability constraints than those buying homes in the north.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "The buoyancy of the southern economy and demand for quality property by affluent buyers are having the effect of increasing homeowners' net worth even further.

"With hindsight, the best time to move from the north to the south and 'bridge the gap' was in September last year, when the difference was at a four year low of 46%.

"Parts of the north are now being left behind, as stretched affordability has limited sellers' ability to increase prices in most regions."

Separate figures published today by Nationwide building society suggested that high prices were stopping young people getting on to the housing ladder, particularly keyworkers such as nurses and teachers.

The society said that to afford a property in London, two keyworkers buying together would need to raise a deposit of at least £20,000 - more than 40% of their combined gross salary.

Across the UK, only one in 10 of the 22-29 age group earned enough to buy a property with a 10% deposit - half as many as in 2000. As a result, only about 20% of homeowners are in the 20-24 age group, compared with 30% in 1996.

While last year 40% of house purchases were recorded as being made by first-time buyers, the society said up to one in five of these may have been people returning to the market having sold a property some time before.

"For many true - and particularly young - first-time buyers, the deposit and income multiple constraints are too strong and prevent them entering home ownership at all," said Fionnuala Ealey, group economist at Nationwide.

"This is even before considering other calls on their income such as student debts."

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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