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North South divide in property price?

Good day to you, I wish to buy property. I have been offered jobs in Durham, East Kilbride, Sawbridgeworth & Swavesy(near Cambridge). The property prices in Durham & East Kilbride are less than half of the price of the two southern places. Please can you explain the reason for this? The Banking & finance industry which upheld the South East for years has now collapsed, leaving no large business sector in the south east, and certainly, no manufacturing industry. The south only has various service industries left, which are more consumers of wealth than makers of it. Why is the South so highly priced for property? The South East is overcrowded, the roads are often unpleasantly gridlocked, and the south eastern scenery is no better then the north of UK. So, is the south east of UK due a huge property price correction?

Asked on Sep 22 2013, House Prices in Cambridge | Report content

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  • Hi, We do believe that our money does go further in the North-east of living as the cost of living is reduced. Cambridge is a lot closer to London and therefore will have a heavy weighting on living expenses rather than the likes of Durham. If you would like any further information on Durham, please feel free to get in touch.

    Answered on Sep 23 2013, Report content
  • Cambridge is expensive. This is driven from overseas investors, students, ex students moving back, landlords, technology industry and of course London being close... Not all areas of Cambridgeshire are expensive and you do not have to travel far to find more affordable properties. If you would like to register with me please get in touch.

    Answered on Sep 23 2013, Report content
  • Hi eem2am, What dictates property prices more than anything is demand and the cost of living. In the south, because of the proximity of most towns and cities to London, and the fact that people can reach the capital reasonably easily, there is always a high demand for homes for sale and rent, and this means that property prices are inflated far above those in the north. There are also a greater number of high-net worth individuals in the south, again due to how close areas are to London, and these people are more willing to pay the prices asked for, keeping them high. As mentioned above, there is also the cost of living to consider. In the south, everything is more expensive, but people also get paid more than they do in the north. Conversely, pay is lower in the northern areas of England and Scotland, but the cost of living is far far lower. Many thanks, Scot

    Answered on Oct 8 2013, Report content
  • Interesting question, although you seem to be making some assumptions that people in Sawbridgeworth and Cambridge are relying on commuting to a job in London. There are loads of (fairly small) high-tech and start-up companies dotted all around Cambridge that pay good salaries. Sawbridgeworth is between Harlow and Bishops Stortford and there are several employers in Harlow like GSK and Raytheon (not just service industries). I was born in Glasgow and lived under 10 miles from East Kilbride until I was 21. I couldn't get a decent job after leaving College - the Scottish employers wanted experience and I couldn't get work at Motorola in East Kilbride despite doing 3 year HND in Applied Physics with Electronics and specializing in physical electronics and semi-conductor technology! I did my work experience between my 2nd and 3rd year at the National Engineering Laboratories in East Kilbride. I then moved down to England (High Wycombe) initially just to get some work experience. My dad and younger brother were still up in Glasgow, but both were made redundant and struggled to find decent jobs. I found a job for my dad in Slough, so he lived in my flat for a year to make sure he was happy in England. My mum and brother then moved down to High Wycombe once they knew my dad was settled. I moved to NW Essex (about 15 miles from Sawbridgeworth) and 25 miles from Cambridge in 2000, as I was offered a job in the Harlow laboratories of Nortel Networks. I almost bought a house in Sawbridgeworth - I made an offer that was accepted, but the seller changed their mind and withdrew their house as they couldn't find anything suitable that they wanted to buy! Unfortunately Nortel got into financial trouble and they virtually closed their Harlow labs in 2005. Nortel employed over 2000 people in London and Harlow in 2000 and all these people needed to find other jobs. Most found jobs within commuting distance without much problems - the problem with Scotland is there isn't so much choice of high-tech jobs within commuting distance. I then applied for various jobs around the Cambridge area, but ended up working as a contractor at the BT labs in Martlesham (50 miles from me). There were 3000+ people based at Martlesham when I worked on the BT21CN project (between 2005 and 2008). About 50% were working for BT and the other 50% were from equipment providers (eg Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Fujitsu, Huawei, Juniper, Siemens etc). I have 2 cousins who still live in Hamilton and work in East Kilbride or Glasgow. House prices are cheaper there, but wages are much lower than in SE England and there is much more competition for jobs. So things balance out – people in the SE of England generally earn more than in Scotland. This means they can afford to borrow more money, so houses tend to be more expensive. House prices everywhere are determined by supply and demand – if demand exceeds supply then prices tend to rise. Unemployment in SE England was around 5% when I last checked. I'm not sure what the unemployment rate around EK or Durham is (but I guess it could 10%). I personally wouldn't move back to the Glasgow area to work, as there aren't the same opportunities that are available near Cambridge or London. Also the weather is better in SE England :-P I've sold my Essex property and now emigrated to South Africa for personal reasons, but if I wanted to return to the UK to find work I would probably stick to the SE of England. This is because there are more job opportunities there. If I wanted to return to the UK to retire, then going back to Glasgow is a possibility (despite the terrible weather!)

    Answered on Jan 16 2014, Report content
  • Last time I paid any attention the banking & finance industry certainly hadn't collapsed. There is very little manufacturing industry left in the UK as a whole- that's not a problem specific to the south east. I would suggest that the south east is overcrowded for many reasons, most importantly employment and opportunity. Speaking of Cambridge in isolation- it is a rather special case. It has glided through the recession with barely a hiccup, demand is as high as ever, even with consistently increasing prices. It has excellent employment opportunities, many high calibre companies are based here and the tourism industry is enormous. There's also the university & the proximity to London. But, as David said, you don't have to travel far from Cambridge to find more affordable housing so it's not all bad.

    Answered on Jan 16 2014, Report content

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