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Two speed Britain, the UK’s declining towns and cities

Anthony Rushworth

Data released today completes the 10-year picture of sold prices in Britain for the decade since the start of the crash. Belfast, Hartlepool and Blackpool have suffered worst and are still 43.7 percent, 19.5 percent and 16.4 percent down respectively. Comment Anthony Rushworth, Founder – Homegrown.

Homes in the North worst affected, prompting fears of two-speed UK as London and South East rise 62.7 percent and 37.7 percent over same period. The true extent of the damage wrought by the financial crisis is revealed today as official data shows 28 UK towns and cities have suffered a lost decade of house price growth.

Land Registry figures released this morning sparked fears of a two-speed economy as it emerged the only places to suffer this fate outside Wales were in the North, analysis by housebuilding investment platform Homegrown shows1. Latest data covers the month of August 2017 which means we now have a clear picture of the devastating impact of the crash in the ten years since the start of the crisis on August 9 2007.

That was the day BNP Paribas froze three of its funds, suggesting it could not value the sub-prime loans contained in the complex financial instruments on its books. Doomed Northern Rock chief Adam Applegarth later described it as “the day the world changed”. Since then, Belfast, Hartlepool and Blackpool have suffered worse than anywhere in the UK.

Average property prices in the Northern Irish capital are 43.7 percent lower than they were in August 2007 at just £120,351. Hartlepool failed to recover with a 19.5 percent drop to £100,957 while prices in Blackpool are still 16.4 percent down on £105,057. Even Liverpool and Newcastle – two of the four cities central to the idea of the Northern Powerhouse alongside Leeds, Hull, Manchester and Sheffield – never recovered. Liverpool is still 1.7 percent down with average prices struggling back to £126,862 while Newcastle is 1 percent down on £162,876.

A stark North-South divide means homes in the North East are still 5.6 percent down on what they were a decade ago while the North West is struggling with growth of  just 5.5 percent in that period. Meanwhile London, the South East and South West are 62.7 percent and 37.7 percent and 19.2 percent higher on average.  Bradford, Oldham, Lancaster and Falkirk only just escaped lost decades of their own, recovering their ground to finish just £1,039, £1,765, £235 and £196 higher in a decade, respectively.


Average Price Aug 2007

Average Price Aug 2017

Amount Lost in 10 Years

 percent Loss in 10 Years





43.7 percent





19.5 percent





16.4 percent





15.3 percent





10.9 percent





9.7 percent





7.5 percent





6.9 percent





5.0 percent





5.6 percent





4.4 percent





4.4 percent

Merthyr Tydfil




6.3 percent





4.6 percent





5.1 percent

City of Glasgow




3.7 percent





3.0 percent





3.0 percent

St Helens




1.8 percent





1.7 percent





1.5 percent





1.4 percent





1.3 percent





1.6 percent

Newcastle upon Tyne




1.0 percent





0.3 percent





0.4 percent





0.1 percent

Anthony Rushworth, founder of housebuilding investment platform, Homegrown, said: “This is two-speed Britain in action. It’s now clear that great swathes of the UK have suffered terribly in the aftermath of the financial crash while areas in high demand have shrugged it off and surged ahead. We are too reliant as a country on a small number of densely populated areas, particularly in London and the South East.

“The technology exists to take a much more balanced approach to where Britons live and work. The Northern Powerhouse promised exactly that, but it will take more than a marketing campaign by one Chancellor to really shift the balance and create a more stable property market for future generations.”

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