Huge variation in cost of housing highlighted


The average home in Britain now costs £2,216 per square metre - while in some parts of London buyers face paying over £11,000 for just one square metre of a property. 

Kensington and Chelsea remains Britain's most expensive neighbourhood, with an average property there setting home buyers back £11,321 for each square metre of floor space they purchase, according to research from Halifax.

The report made the calculations by dividing average house prices across towns and London boroughs by average property sizes, excluding outside space.

While London dominates the list of the most expensive property locations, five areas outside southern England fetch a higher price per square metre than the national average of £2,216. These are Solihull, Leamington Spa, Altrincham, Edinburgh and Harrogate.

The London borough of Westminster is the only area apart from Kensington and Chelsea where the average property price per square metre is over £10,000, with a typical value of £10,522.

Home buyers looking to get maximum space for their money may want to head for Airdrie in Scotland, which has the lowest typical property price per square metre at £1,019.

A home buyer could get around 11 square metres of property space in Airdrie for the price of just one square metre in Kensington and Chelsea.

At the less expensive end of the property market, Lanark in Scotland, Llanelli and Neath in Wales and Accrington and Hartlepool in northern England also have average house prices per square metre at around the £1,000 mark.

Chris Gowland, mortgages director at Halifax, said: "House price per square metre can be a useful comparison measure as it helps to adjust for differences in the size and type of properties between locations.

"We have seen the average price per square metre increase by 251% over the past 20 years from £631 in 1996 to £2,216 in 2016, although this national figure does conceal considerable regional differences.

"In particular, there has been a marked widening in the North/South property divide over the past two decades as prices per square metre have risen by 432% over this period in Greater London - more than twice the increase in areas outside of southern England. The consistent gap between southern England, led by London - and the rest of the country over the past two decades - is a trend that has embedded itself throughout the last five years."