game of thrones jon snow season 5

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Jon Snow, Game of Thrones’ most famous Northerner.

The difference between average house prices in the North and South of England is now £163,000 ($ 115,000), according to a report by a UK building society this week.

That’s almost as much as cost of the average British home.

Nationwide said that “prices in the North are now less than half those in the South, a record low.”

The average house price in the UK is now£200,251 — up 7.7% year on year in March.

But in the North the average growth was just 1.8%.

London and the South East, meanwhile, enjoyed a 9.9% year on year house price rise compared to the end of March 2015.

This slow growth in the North comes despite most properties there being 45% below their average price just before the housing crash of 2008.

The news comes as UK house prices rose by their highest rate in a year this March thanks to the scramble to beat the stamp duty increase deadline, which came into effect on April 1. Tax on second home purchases has risen to 3%.

This chart shows the widening gap between northern house prices in relation to southern ones:

Meanwhile, this chart shows the wildly different house price growth of each region:

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, claimed that despite the disparity the North’s property market was at least less volatile than the South’s.

“The North of England and Scotland [are] actually recording modest house price declines in Q1,” he said, “even though prices remain well below pre-crisis levels in those regions.”

Commenting on the high number of house sales in March, Gardner suggested that the rising stamp duty may not tell the whole story:

“The pace of house price growth may moderate again once the stamp duty changes take effect in April. However, it is possible that the recent pattern of strong employment growth, rising real earnings, low borrowing costs and constrained supply will keep the demand/supply balance tilted in favour of sellers and maintain pressure on price growth in the quarters ahead.”

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Business Insider » Finance

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