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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
House price confidence 'rising in north'
Housing estate
House prices are booming across the UK
More evidence has emerged that the UK's housing boom is spreading across the country, away from the traditional 'hot spots' of London and the south of England.


This suggests we are heading towards a more balanced housing market

Andy Gray, Woolwich
A survey has found that the gap between people's confidence in the housing market in the north and the south of the country is narrowing.

Research by the Woolwich found that during September 64.5% of those in the south of the UK thought that house prices would increase, compared with 62.6% of those in the north.

The gap of 2.8% is the smallest difference since the start of the year, and well down on the largest gap of 10.2% recorded in April.

Housing market stabilising?

While London and the south-east of England have led the UK house price boom, more signs are emerging that price increases are beginning to ripple out across the country.

Research released by the Halifax bank earlier this month found that half of the fastest rising property prices over the last year were in towns in the north of the UK.

And the Woolwich's house price confidence index appears to confirm to trend.

Andy Gray, head of lending, Woolwich said: "Britons' confidence in the housing market is now being driven by the north.

"Northerners' confidence is catching up with their southern counterparts and is ahead of confidence in the midlands for the first time this year."

"This suggests we are heading towards a more balanced housing market and while growth in the south may slow, rising confidence will boost activity in the north resulting in a nationally stable housing market".


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