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5 April 2011

North bears brunt of 47% drop in house sales

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by Gill Montia

North bears brunt of 47% drop in house sales

Property sales have fallen significantly across England and Wales since 2007 amid a widening North / South housing divide, new research by Lloyds TSB suggests.

Last year, 649,957 homes changed hands with the total down 47% on 2007, however, sales in South fell 42% compared with a 51% drop in the North.

Lloyds’ research also reveals that 2010’s modest 6% recovery in sales was led by Greater London, where 22% more properties changed hands than a year earlier. Wales was the next-biggest riser but only at 7%.

In addition, seven of the 10 towns that saw the biggest increases in property sales last year are located in the South while no towns in the South feature amongst the ten biggest losers-out.

Unsurprisingly, house price growth has generally been stronger in the locations with the lowest falls in sales; prices rose 5% on average across the ten least afflicted towns between 2007 and 2010.

Earlier this week, Nationwide reported that the northern regions of England (North, Yorkshire and Humberside, North West, East Midlands and West Midlands) have all seen price falls over the past five years, whilst the southern regions have all seen price rises, with the exception of East Anglia.

According to the building society, average prices in the south now 65% higher than those in the north, compared with 44% five years ago.

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