Last two UK places where house prices still haven’t recovered to pre-2008 crash levels

Property experts says there’s a north-south divide with Durham and Hartlepool the last two places in England yet to recover from the housing crash of 13 years ago

House prices in Durham have so far failed to recover from the crash

Two locations in the North East of England are now the only areas in the UK where average house prices haven’t yet recovered from the 2008 credit crunch.

Durham and Hartlepool have failed to return to pre-housing crash levels of 14 years ago when prices went into meltdown.

Overall, the cost of property continues to soar during the pandemic, figures show – but there are some notable exceptions.

Recent statistics, released by home setup service Just Move In, show the average home in Durham was £119,447 in the latest Land Registry figures – £2,890 below its £122,337 pre-crash peak.

House prices in Hartlepool are £129,438 on average, which is £3,498 lower than the £132,936 recorded back in November 2007.

House prices in Hartlepool have also stayed below what they were in 2007


Getty Images/EyeEm)

In England, the North West has been the strongest performing region with an average house price of just over £209,000.

Worryingly, parts of the country have only recently recovered to the highs they perviously reached.

Blackpool and Middlesbrough finally recovered earlier this year, while London, Cambridge and St Albans, Hertfordshire, have fared best since the crash.

Ross Nichols, Co-founder of home setup service Just Move In, said: “The housing market has exploded over the past year, but it’s sobering to think that parts of the country have only recently recovered to the levels they were before the 2008 crash.

Cambridge is one of the areas to fare best since the property crash


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“Hartlepool and Durham are the last two parts of the country that still haven’t hit that level, while Blackpool and Middlesbrough only recovered in the most recent figures.

“There’s a North-South divide when it comes to the recovery, with London and other Southern cities bouncing back quickly, while Northern areas are still lagging behind.”

The average UK home peaked at £190,032 in September 2007, and is currently 142% higher at £269,945 – 13 years on the big price crash.

According to an index, the average UK house price increased by £1,691 per month since the UK first entered lockdown in March 2020.

Durham is still £2,890 below its £122,337 pre-crash peak


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Property values hit a new record high of £272,992 on average in November, Halifax said, with flats also picking up traction in recent months.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, and the UK first entering lockdown, house prices have risen by £33,816, which equates to £1,691 per month.

“The performance of the market continues to be underpinned by a shortage of available properties, a strong labour market and keen competition amongst mortgage providers keeping rates close to historic lows.

Hartlepool house prices are £129,438; £3,498 lower than in November 2007


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“Those taking their first step on to the property ladder are also playing an important role in driving activity, with annual house price inflation for first-time buyers at 9.1% compared to 8.8% for home-movers.

“We see this across different property types too, with double-digit annual price inflation for flats (+10.8%) over the last year compared to slower gains for detached properties (6.6%).

“This could suggest the ‘race for space’ is becoming less prominent than it was earlier in the pandemic, with industry data also showing the overall number of completed transactions has fallen back since the end of the stamp duty holiday.

“Looking ahead, there is now greater uncertainty than has been the case for quite some time, with interest rates expected to rise to guard against further increases in inflation.

“Leaving aside the direct impact of a possible resurgence in the pandemic for now, we would not expect the current level of house price growth to be sustained next year given that house price-to-income ratios are already historically high, and household budgets are only likely to come under greater pressure in the coming months.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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