North-South property price gap widens

Reports that the value of homes in London 'is now almost double that of all the homes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that mortgage lender the Halifax has "put a price tag of £1.13 trillion on property in the capital, compared with £582 billion in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland." The newspaper adds that the "huge increase in the value of homes in London also means that the city’s residential property is now worth the same as every property in the North-West, Yorkshire, Humberside, the North-East and Scotland combined. The housing stock in the north of England - from Cheshire to Northumberland - is valued at £810 billion."

The Times (subscription required) reports that "buy-to-let investors may crash the housing market by dumping properties as interest rates rise, the Bank of England’s deputy governor warned". The newspaper says that Sir Jon Cunliffe said that falling house prices and higher rates "could cause a substantial number of buy-to-let landlords to seek to exit the market, put material downward pressure on house prices, [and] amplify and adverse shock to the housing market".

The Independent reports that the government’s proposed relaxation of Sunday trading laws in England and Wales is to be delayed "after being opposed by the SNP, which said the proposals could drive down the wages of Scottish workers." The newspaper says that the proposals "have now been put on hold after the SNP said it would join Labour and around 20 Conservative rebels in opposing the changes, which it claimed would have consequences for other parts of the UK. The move left the government facing the prospect of an embarrassing Commons defeat on the issue."

The Guardian reports that renewable energy accounted for almost half of all new power plants across the globe in 2014, representing a "clear sign that an energy transition is underway", according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The newspaper says that "green energy is now the second-largest generator of electricity in the world, after coal, and is set to overtake the dirtiest fossil fuel in the early 2030s", according to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 report.

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