There is a prevailing wisdom (which I share) that the economy and the housing market are both recovering, at least a little.
But it is important to look behind the national headline figures and to remember how skewed statistics can be by the continuing ‘strength’ of London.
This is particularly so for residential property. A breakdown of the latest figures from Hometrack, the housing consultancy, shows the point well.
Overall, key indicators look modestly improved - look at the percentage of the asking price achieved when a sale is completed (94.4% in July, up from 94.2% the previous month); or the weeks taken to sell (8.2 on average, compared to 8.4 in June). But the regional breakdown tells a much more nuanced picture.
For almost every key indicator, Greater London is far stronger than any other region; conversely, the housing market is clearly still weakening in locations like Wales and the north east of England (Hometrack covers only England and Wales, by the way).
The message is clear, to jouirnalists and commentators alike: the market may indeed be undergoing some sort of recovery on a national basis but for many parts of this small country, things are still tough.
In other words, not everyone and not everywhere are out of the woods yet.
East Anglia Sale Price 94.6%; New Buyers up 1.9%; Weeks to sell 8.2
East Midlands Sale Price 93.9%; New Buyers up 0.4%; Weeks to sell 11.6
Greater London Sale Price 96.3%; New Buyers up 2.6%; Weeks to sell 3.8
North East Sale Price 92.9%; New Buyers down 1.8%; Weeks to sell 11.1
North West Sale Price 93.0%; New Buyers up 0.2%; Weeks to sell 11.0
South East Sale Price 95.4%; New Buyers up 1.1%; Weeks to sell 6.4
South West Sale Price 94.4%; New Buyers up 1.3%; Weeks to sell 8.5
Wales Sale Price 92.1%; New Buyers down 3.3%; Weeks to sell 10.2
West Midlands Sale Price 93.6%; New Buyers down 1.7%; Weeks to sell 8.4
Yorks/Humber Sale Price 94.5%; New Buyers up 3.6%; Weeks to sell 9.5
National Sale Price 94.4%; New Buyers up 1.1%; Weeks to sell 8.2
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