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Northern England and Scotland miss out on property boom

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Mon 15 Nov 2021

Northern England and Scotland miss out on property boom


Houses in areas of the north of England and in Scotland are worth less now than they were before the global financial crisis 13 years ago.

Since the pandemic began last spring, house prices have jumped by 14 per cent, according to Nationwide, fuelled by a “race for space” as people seek bigger homes with more garden space after having been locked down for much of 2020.

The stamp duty holiday gave the market another leg up, although housebuilders and estate agents are still reporting a buoyant market even though the tax cut has ended.

Yet prices in several areas remain below their peak in 2008, just before the bottom fell out of the market amid the banking and lending crisis. House prices in Aberdeen have fared worst, down 12.4 per cent compared with where they were before the 2008 crash, according to Savills, the property agency. The Scottish city is the UK centre of North Sea oil industry, which has declined in recent years. Before the pandemic-induced property boom, house prices in and around Aberdeen had been closer to 18 per cent shy of their pre-crisis peak.

Prices in Inverclyde, west of Glasgow, remain down 7.5 per cent from where they were 13 years ago, while prices in nearby East Ayrshire have slipped by 0.8 per cent. In northeast England, prices in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Co Durham remain down by 7.8 per cent, 4.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively. Values in Blackpool, Lancashire, are 2.4 per cent down on their 2008 peak.


The figures also show where the pandemic property gains have been highest, led by the west London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, where prices already up 39 per cent over the past 13 years rose higher during the pandemic to hit a peak of 70 per cent growth since the global financial crisis.

London dominates the list of local authorities whose property values have risen the most over the past 13 years. Houses in Waltham Forest and Hackney, east of London, are worth almost double what they were before the financial crisis.

Of the top 20 areas where prices have risen the most over the past 13 years, only Cambridge and St Albans — both up by 74 per cent — are outside the M25.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “For a lot of homeowners across the north of England, Wales and Scotland, the lack of growth since the credit crunch has had a material impact on their ability to trade up the housing ladder.

Data from Rightmove, the online agent, suggests that the market continues to cool, with average house prices on its website falling by 0.6 per cent last month.