Last week’s house price inflation figures just underlined the yawning chasm of value that now divides London from the rest of the UK. The average annual house figure for the whole country showed a small rise from 9.9% in April to 10.5% in May. This however, is somewhat misleading as it masks the huge variances that have occurred across the nation.
There was of course only one area with double digit growth and which was so strong it effectively skews the national average significantly. With London at 20.1%, it dwarfs even its nearest competitor, the south east of England at 9.6% and with the rest spread within a range from roughly 4% to 8%.
However, there was one further outlier and that was sadly to the downside, as we saw Northern Ireland fall by 0.7% which has added to the pain of the property crash which they have suffered primarily due to the banking and property fiasco south of the border. From top to bottom it has seen a collapse of over 60% – a figure which has been devastating for both consumer and business confidence. Despite this, the entrepreneurial determination in the Province is a true sign of economic dynamism despite the property backdrop. The feeling is that even this is now beginning to show some signs of recovery albeit at a somewhat moderate level.
However, for the moment we seem to be a nation with another country – London.