Property price divide widens

19 July 2006
The gulf in property value between the north and south of England has widened, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Phenomenal and unexpected house price rises in the south-east and London during June and into July have widened the property divide further, the organisation has announced.

The price gap between the capital and the rest of the country is now at its widest since 1978.

Sixty per cent of London surveyors reported an increase in property prices last month and none noted a dip amid what has been described as a "mini-boom". Rics reports that the cost of an average home in the capital rose at its sharpest rate for six and a half years in June.

"A strong financial services sector has transformed London into a property-rich city state," explained Rics spokesman Ian Perry.

"Economic divisions used to be characterised by unemployment and economic decline, but are now characterised by the difference in house prices," he added.

Nationally, 28 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in property value than a decline last month, the highest proportion for over two years and up seven points on May's figure of 21 per cent.

A Rightmove survey for July, published on Monday, reported a year-on-year house price increase of 10.6 per cent, representing the highest rise for nearly five years.

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