THE North West is the strongest performing region when it comes to house prices­ — recording a rise of more than double that seen in London, according to a new report.

The region recorded an annual price growth of 4.8 per cent compared to London's 2.1 per cent, according to the Nationwide ­— but the gulf between houses prices in the North West and London remains huge.

The average price of a property in the North West is £170,216 compared to nearly half-a-million in London ­— 475,448. And the average UK house price is now £216,403.

For those who can afford it, the lifestyle London offers can be a compelling attraction.

But the difference in what you can get with your money outside of London can be staggering.

For example a three-bedroomed house in one of the most sought after areas of Bolton was on the market for £250,000 ­— compared to this studio flat in London up for £230,000.

(Family home in Belmont)

The Belmont house in Maria Square is for a family, complete with a study and an abundance of space.

In the London property, the bed is located in the living room along with the dining room table and chairs.

(Studio flat in London)

And when it comes to outdoor space, the two just do not compare. The Bolton property not only boasts a garden but has the West Pennine Moors on its doorstep and a village green.

The area is said to be ideal for sporting activities such as walking, mountain biking, cycling and there is a sailing club based in the village.

The London flat has no personal outdoor space, but residents can make use of a communal park.

(Outdoor area in London - communal park)

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said: "House prices in June were 3.2 per cent lower than in April.

"Annual house price growth slowed to minus 0.1 per cent, from 1.8 per cent in May. This is the first time that annual house price growth has been in negative territory since December 2012.

"It is unsurprising that annual house price growth has stalled, given the magnitude of the shock to the economy as a result of the pandemic."

Mr Gardner said no UK regions saw prices fall when comparing April, May and June with the same period in 2019.

He said: "The North West was the strongest performing region, with annual price growth picking up slightly to 4.8 per cent."

Mr Gardener said: "The medium-term outlook for the housing market remains highly uncertain. Much will depend on the performance of the wider economy, which will in turn be determined by how the pandemic and restrictions on activity evolve."