A very polarised property market.

Anyone reading much of the comment in the media relating to UK property would easily be forgiven for thinking that it is one big nationwide property market with the same behaviour and price trends right across the country.  But of course this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Whilst the Nationwide, Savills, Halifax and Hometrack (to name but a few) publish regular price indices, these are only ever average statistics. They may refer to England & Wales, or London, or perhaps a region of the country, but never the less they represent an average, and should be taken with a generous pinch of salt as they mask a whole lot of variances.

Even Cornwall cannot be looked at as a whole, with some towns and villages naturally seeing more demand and stronger prices than others in a given period.  Of course this also follows for a town itself where one road may be more desirable than another, and this changes as cafes, shops and hotels open and close.

Over the last decade, house prices in Cornwall and London have become even more detached than they were.  Peak prices were seen in Cornwall and London sometime around 2007/08, with values in Cornwall then falling to a deep trough around 2012, before returning to (approximately on average!) peak levels by 2016, where they have stayed, give or take a bit, since. On average!

Meanwhile in London, after a pause for breath and small correction it is well documented that values across most of London surged on to much, much higher peaks by 2014, before falling back over the next two years.

So little point comparing the relationship between house prices in London and Cornwall then, and it is these disparities which make a UK house prices statistic surely a pretty meaningless, or perhaps misleading barometer.