Recent data released by Halifax has stoked the fire that is the UK housing market inferno as the study reveals the stark disparity in the performance of house prices countrywide since 2009.
Perhaps one of the most shocking statistics is that buying a square metre of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea now costs the same as an entry level family car, at a staggering £10,854. Rationalising such valuations is beyond what most people can fathom. In this and six other London boroughs, data shows that house prices have increased by more than 50% since 2009, while every borough in London has seen an increase over the same period. In price inflation terms, Lambeth was the out-and-out winner, printing a 61% rise.Beyond London, the rest of the UK paints a very different picture, with the median national change of just 4%. Many areas are still seeing prices well below the levels they were at five years ago. In Scotland, 26 of 30 local authorities are suffering from prices below 2009 levels, while in Wales a slightly better 15 of 22 sit below the same threshold.
Latest data risks putting the brakes on expectations that house prices will continue to soar into 2016, as many leading analysts believe. Halifax data showed monthly house prices dropped 0.6% across the UK in June, a surprise to expectations, knocking £1,100 off the average property value.
This disparity in prices is also very prevalent on a surprisingly local level in student property. For example, data from StuRents.com indicates that prices in Durham for student rent are close to 50% higher than they are in Stockton where the university's sister campus, Queen's, resides. Just a short 30-minute bus ride away, the sheer disparity in market dynamics between the two locations shows that even students value location at the expense of considerably higher rent.
These students are the next to jump on the housing ladder. Perhaps this disparity in property values across the UK will not narrow anytime soon.