UK property wealth gap widens
The UK property market has split into two segments, with high end property prices rising as the rest of the market declines.
This is according to the latest prime index from property website PrimeLocation.com. Its monthly index reveals that prime properties – that's the top quarter of the market by value – saw asking prices increase 0.5% in September, continuing a seven month rally in which asking prices for prime properties hit new heights. The average price of a UK prime property is currently £472,340.
The latest increase coincided with a second consecutive monthly fall in the general market. Asking prices for all properties fell 0.2% in September, with the average asking price now £219,943.
This means that the gap between the top end of the market and the general market is now wider than ever, with the average prime property on the market for 115% more than a typical UK home.
The gap between the two groups has been steadily rising since the index launched at the end of 2007, and the trend shows no sign of abating.
When the index launched, the average prime property was on the market for £157,255 more than the average property, or 68%. In February 2009, the gap widened to the point where prime properties were worth double (101%) the price of a prime property.
Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.com said: "There's no question about it – by every measure available, prime properties are consistently outperforming the general market.
"Property at the lower end of the market has had a difficult time due to challenging conditions for first-time buyers while the top end, particularly in and around London, has continued to increase. Part of this is due to the significance of foreign investment in the UK prime market."
Across the country, asking prices for Prime properties rose by 0.5% in September, taking the UK average prime asking price to £472,340.
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