According to new research, Kensington and Chelsea is officially the most expensive place in the UK to buy a home. One square meter can currently cost buyers up to £10,854, just showing how large the price gap across the country is really getting.
The same amount of floor space in Stanley, Country Durham – Britain’s cheapest place to buy a home – is actually 13 times cheaper, at just £818 per square meter. This is a huge difference and is really highlighting the pricing changes.
Using Halifax’s house price database, the research was conducted by dividing the average house price in an area by the size of the property in each individual location.
These findings come amid growing concerns over the lack of housing development in comparison to the booming demand for houses, with schemes such as “Help to Buy” enabling younger buyers to jump on the housing ladder.
In second and third place, in terms of price, were Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham, and overall, the top 20 most expensive places were all found to be boroughs of London.
Halifax mortgages director, Craig KcKinlay, said:
"House price per square metre is a useful measure for house price comparison because it helps to adjust for differences in the size and type of properties between locations.
"While there are areas in central London that are more expensive than anywhere else in the country, there are notable pockets outside the south-east where property also has a high price per square metre."
Outside of the South East of England, the most expensive places to buy a house are Edinburgh, Altrincham, Solihull, Leamington Spa and Aberdeen. The poorest, after Stanley, were Pontypool, Wishaw and Accrington.
This research only goes to highlight just how fast prices are rising in London, with boroughs such as Lambeth seeing a 61% increase just over the past five years.
Warnings of a housing bubble have been voiced for months now, and it seems that the Bank of England heard them loud and clear, as it introduced a much tougher mortgage application process, in order to cut out any risky lending.
Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s governor, announced that they would be tightening the affordability tests, but that there was unlikely to be an immediate effect in terms of the ever-increasing property prices.
A report from Countrywide last week ranked the UK as the third worst place to build houses in Europe, when population growth is considered. The report found that over the last ten years housing development fell by 35% and Britain built the fewest number of new homes out of all relative countries in Europe.
Grenville Turner, Countrywide’s chief executive, said:
“The 2008 downturn in construction should not disguise the fact that the UK has failed to build the required number of new homes over a much longer period of time.
"A long-term lack of housebuilding has meant that the UK was amongst the least well prepared countries to deal with the fall in housebuilding in 2008."
Nationally, the study from Halifax found that property prices per square meter had increased by 13% in the last 5 years, with prices rising by 34% in London. In comparison though, prices in Scotland and the North of England fell by around 5% and 3% respectively.
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