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This year, the gap between house prices in southern areas and northern regions has hit a record high. Houses in the south now can cost up to double the amount of a home up north.

According to the latest Nationwide House Price index, the average house price in the South of England has reached a whopping £303,811, compared to the Northern £150,851. Typically, a house in the capital will see buyers forking out a huge £443,399.

Overall, the cost to buy a house anywhere in the country is on the increase, with the average house price in England rising by 6% in the past year. Wales has seen a 1.9% increase and Northern Ireland a huge 6.5% rise. However, Scotland has recorded a 1.3% fall in the same period.

With these rising house prices across the UK, how can anyone ever afford to buy a home? With the housing market as unstable as it is, many more would-be-buyers are turning to rent to buy schemes as a viable option. Whether you’re a first time buyer or an existing homeowner, rent to buy schemes are attractive to those struggling to save a deposit.

Which locations are best to start looking?

Manchester – In Manchester the average house price is around £108,870. The area has fantastic transport links and is the Northern hub for young professionals. It’s also one of the top areas for students and culture vultures, has a thriving music and food scene and is buzzing with things to do.

Liverpool – Liverpool’s average house price is £90,426 making it one of the cheapest cities in the country. The home of the Beatles is regularly voted one of the nation’s top spots for entertainment and lifestyle. The cost of living is also very reasonable which makes it one of the best areas to live in the UK for value for money.

Portsmouth – Just an hours’ train ride from the capital, Portsmouth is a great alternative to living in London. It’s also a stone’s throw away from Brighton and offers a variety of vibrant clubs, pubs and shopping. It’s also steeped in history and conveniently close to the coast for a weekend getaway on the continent. The average house price is only £155,696 too, making it one of the least expensive postcodes for a Southern area.

Southampton – The average price for a house in this area is £151,415 and again, is another attractive alternative to living in the capital. With great transport links and a high ranking University, it’s a great area for first time buyers to make their home.

Erith – House prices are still relatively cheap in Erith compared to most areas in south east London, making it a great alternative to living in the capital and a superb area for first time buyers to make their home.

Erith is a major district centre, north of London borough of Bexley, overlooking the River Thames. It is in London Travel card Zone 6 and it’s a short commute to London, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Darent Valley Hospital and the proposed Paramount Theme Park, a world-class entertainment resort in Swanscombe.

According to Rightmove statistics, last year flats in Lewisham, which is less than 30 minutes away sold on average for £305,090. Terraced properties sold for an average price of £543,449, while semi-detached properties fetched £768,348.

Erith, however, has an overall average price of £229,965, compared to nearby areas like Charlton with an overall average price of £348,254, Woolwich £279,185, Shooters Hill £294,943, Kidbrooke £388,646 

Which areas do you think are the best places to live? Can you offer any alternatives? Let us know on our social media!

businessman sitting at the table with charts and a house and sign a contract