There is a growing disparity between house prices in the north and south of the UK, according to the latest house price index released by the government.

A house in Kensington and Chelsea, the most expensive part of London, currently goes for £1.2 million on average. This is almost 14 times as much as the average price of a house in Burnley, the cheapest area to buy a house in the UK. Ten years ago, the difference between the most expensive and the cheapest area was much smaller.

While the City of Westminster has seen home prices drop by more than 10% since before the pandemic, homes in the area still sell for an average price of £894,042. Meanwhile in Liverpool, where prices increased by more than 10% since January, the average costs of a house is only £139,442.

Over the past year, the West Midlands has been the fastest growing region in terms of house prices. In July 2020 it saw a 4.3% increase compared to a year before.

Plotting average house prices on a map of the UK reveals a clear distinction between the north and the south of the country — with the City of Edinburgh and some areas in North Yorkshire being notable exceptions.

House prices soar despite Covid crisis

House prices have soared despite the Covid crisis. But Halifax, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, cautioned that this pattern is unlikely to continue amidst an expected rise in unemployment combined with lower household earnings.

“A surge in market activity has driven up house prices through the post-lockdown summer period, fuelled by the release of pent-up demand, a strong desire amongst some buyers to move to bigger properties, and of course the temporary cut to stamp duty”, said Russell Galley, the managing director of Halifax.