80 years on and Orwell’s North/South divide remains very much alive and well

1492In the 1930’s George Orwell, wrote about the chasm that grew between the North and South of England; he noted the indifference which southerners often appeared to express over the fate of those living in northern areas – the places that had become most blighted by economic downturn.

80 years on from Orwell’s observations, research suggests that there remains real hard evidence of a North/South divide. Life expectancy is one year less north of the dividing line, adolescents in the south are much more likely to attend red brick universities than from the north and if you view a political voting map, the line often separates red from blue. Looking at property prices, which are often thrown into the discussion of a North/South divide, it is a little less clear cut. House pricing differentials are said to create a gap that prevents people from the north venturing south but where realistically is the line and how does it affect where you buy a house?


Average house price in last 3 years*


Distance north of London





Gerrards Cross



27 Miles

Leighton Buzzard



33 Miles




48 Miles

Desborough (close to Kettering)



50 miles

Long Eaton



58 Miles

* Figures taken from Zoopla

The below graph of house prices over the past three years charts a line that heads roughly north from Cobham in Surrey revealing a decline in average house prices until you hit the Leighton Buzzard area where pricing appears to level out suggesting perhaps that the North/South divide might occur somewhere between Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.


Gerrards Cross sits just 33 miles south of Leighton Buzzard and yet average house prices are 60% higher cementing this ever popular town’s position firmly in the south. Indeed with commuting distances to London often cited as key house price factors, it’s no wonder that towns and villages such as Gerrards Cross which can speed workers into the Capital in under 35 minutes command such a premium.

1679159_Gerrards_Cross_WaitroseRecent research also shows that living close to a top notch High Street can add pounds to your property and if you have a Waitrose nearby then you really are onto a winner as Savills, the real estate services provider compared average house prices in postcodes where Waitrose branches have opened in the past five years to other districts elsewhere in the same county and discovered that prices near a branch of the supermarket were on average 25.3% higher.

Gerrards Cross is blessed with both a bustling High Street and the hallowed Waitrose as well as the wider amenities of Beaconsfield on its doorstep with the BBC’s Declan Curry even going as far as to describe it as “Britain’s richest town”.

Alderbourne Place Millgate, the luxury house builder recently finished a development of town houses and detached houses just a mile from Gerrards Cross High Street. Alderbourne Place enjoys a perfect blend of seclusion and comfort offering the very best of town and country living, nestled in rolling green-belt countryside.

Jonathan Cranley , Sales and Marketing Director for Millgate comments:

“It is with pride that we hear that the show home at our newest development, Alderbourne Place, being referred to as ‘Best in Bucks’. If I was commuter looking to leave the hustle and bustle of London then Gerrards Cross would be high of my list of places to consider, it is rural yet sophisticated, there are great schools in the area and Buckinghamshire is blessed with still having the grammar system in place which is a huge benefit for some.”

This fabulous new Millgate development consists of eight impressive country homes and four town houses of unrivalled pedigree in the area with the show home hailed as the ‘Best in Bucks’ by locals and agents in the area.

Priced from £930,000 for a town house and from £2,100,000 for a detached country house, contact the sales team for further information or to arrange a viewing on 0118 934 3344or visit http://www.millgatehomes.co.uk.

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