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Cities in southern England ‘have seen house sales plunge by 13% since 2015’

By Vicky Shaw, Press Association Personal Finance Correspondent
In London and Cambridge, house sales are down by 20% on 2015, while in Liverpool they have increased by 19%, Zoopla said.

Sales of homes across cities in southern England have plunged by 13% on average since 2015, according to analysis.

Zoopla’s index, which looks at the UK’s 20 biggest cities, found property sales have fallen by 13% in the South between the full calendar years of 2015 and 2018.

On average, sales increased by 6% across cities in northern England over the three years.

Sales in London and Cambridge are down 20% on 2015 levels.

By contrast, transactions in Liverpool have increased by 19% over the same period and those in Newcastle have increased by 5%.

As well as a big jump in sales, Liverpool also had the strongest annual house price growth in March among the 20 cities in the index, with a 5.7% year-on-year price increase taking the average property value there to £122,100.

Leicester, Manchester and Glasgow also recorded house price growth of 5% or slightly more in March.

Zoopla said affordability pressures and higher stamp duty costs have particularly affected the South, with Brexit uncertainty also being a compounding factor.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “House prices and sales volumes continue to increase in regional cities outside southern England.

“Prices in these cities have recorded modest gains over the course of the last decade and affordability remains attractive.”

Here are the changes in the volumes of housing sales between 2015 and 2018, according to Zoopla:
– London, minus 20%
– Cambridge, minus 20%
– Aberdeen, minus 18%
– Portsmouth, minus 13%
– Bournemouth, minus 12%
– Oxford, minus 10%
– Bristol, minus 8%
– Southampton, minus 8%
– Leicester, minus 4%
– Edinburgh, minus 1%
– Manchester, 1%
– Sheffield, 1%
– Belfast, 2%
– Cardiff, 3%
– Leeds, 4%
– Nottingham, 4%
– Newcastle, 5%
– Birmingham, 5%
– Glasgow, 12%
– Liverpool, 19%