We look at the North-South divide in property

We look at the North-South divide in property

The North-South property divide is alive and well, according to new research from conveyancing firm My Home Move.

People moving home prefer to move across the country, from East to West or West to East, rather than upwards or downwards, highlighting that people still associate heavily with their roots, where they live and where they have been brought up.

This loyalty to location is a common theme across the UK. By analysing the home moving trends of 26,000 people over a five-year period, My Home Move found that 70% of those who sold a property in the last five years opted to buy a new home less than 20 miles from their old one.

Inhabitants of the North East, East of England and the South West are the most loyal to their region, with a massive 90% choosing to buy again in a similar postcode area.

It is perhaps not surprising that people decide to buy in places and locations that they know well, particularly given the challenges faced by home movers in recent years.

Issues such as gazumping, ever-increasing house prices and a supply-side shortage have made the buying and selling process more problematic, especially for those trying to get onto the property ladder for the first time.

As a result, people feel more comfortable operating in a local market that they know well, hoping that this will improve their chances of pushing through a fast and relatively hassle-free house sale.

Even of those who do move further afield, most still decide to live within 75 miles of their old residence, My Home Move’s research also showed. This tends to involve people moving from one region to a nearby region – for example from the East Midlands to the West Midlands, or the North West to the North East.  

There are, however, those who prefer to branch out much further. As well as those who seek solace from the hustle and bustle of the major cities by settling in the countryside or down on the coast, there are those who hunt down the 'good life' by taking leave of London and heading for the calm and tranquillity of the South West, jumping a number of regions and travelling well over 100 miles to settle in the picturesque surroundings of Dorset, Devon, Somerset or Cornwall.

As you would expect, all regions have different property markets and different ways of doing things, which is why it would appear so many people opt for the familiarity of a market and area they know well rather than one that is a bit more alien to them.