By Daniel Hunter

The Land Registry have said that London continues to divide national house prices, as the contrast between London's rising prices grows against falling prices elsewhere.

Data shows that house prices in London are at a new high, while prices across the north of England continue to fall. The average selling price of a London property has now reached a record £374,568.

Prices in the capital soared by 9.4% in the past year, the sharpest increase for nearly three years, whilst in England and Wales as a whole, prices rose 0.9%, an increase driven by the London market.

Houses or flats in the capital cost more than double property elsewhere, where the average price is £161,793.

"The rise in prices is persistent, if not consistent. The national average is still inching upwards, while prices in London are gaining in leaps and bounds," Jonathan Hopper, managing director, property search consultants Garrington, commented.

"The UK economy has returned to growth - just. But outside London consumer confidence is still patchy and the housing market is becoming more polarised than ever.

"As house prices surge in London, they continue to tumble in Northern England. The average property in the capital is now worth nearly four times as much as an average home in the North East.

"London prices are now rising at 9.6% per year - an extraordinary rate not seen since the heady pre-crash days. The danger of overheating should not be dismissed. What the capital needs is a steady and sustained recovery, not frenzied growth.

"The national average is slowly improving, but talk of a national recovery is all but meaningless with such divergence between the regions.

"On the ground, buyers are still looking for value, and committed sellers need to be willing to negotiate on price if they want to secure a quick sale.

"But we're definitely seeing stronger buyers coming to the market, not just people window shopping without any plans to buy in the short term.

"After many listless months, the housing market is firmly heading in the right direction again. London is sprinting ahead, parts of the North are in reverse - and the nation as a whole is walking, not running back to health."

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