The North-South divide is definitely an exacerbating factor, but nobody knows how to fix it. Ideally we should move the jobs to the north but how do you achieve that? There are plenty of words spouted blaming politicians, but few if any suggestions about what to do.
It's the same thing often sprouted in Ireland - "move the jobs out of Dublin!!!" (when someone sitting in his/her inherited 4-bedroom house doesn't tell you "go outside of Dublin!").
Let's say we founded a new town in the middle of the sticks and call it Ballyscrotum; There are a number of problems with that:
Problem 1, other areas simply don't have the population to sustain most jobs; The economy here is largely propped up by Tech & Pharmaceutical companies which require highly qualified workforces; Where are the colleges and schools training them? But Dublin of course (or London, Birmingham, Milan, Madrid...basically every country has a similar issue);
Problem 2, these companies will need efficient transport hubs, especially airports, and infrastructure. You won't get an international airport in the sticks of Ballyscrotum;
Problem 3, often you need to attract talent from the outside - be it a different city or even country; You'll get people from just about anywhere wanting to live and work in Dublin, Milan or London (well, maybe not anymore...), how many people will you entice to move to Ballyscrotum?
Problem 4, and perhaps the most interesting - even solving problems #1 to #3 Ballyscrotum will, in a few years, have the exact same problem of the big cities, probably amplified x1000 due to size, culture and the rushed way things were done.
Case in point, I lived in Cork for years. There was absolutely jack ****
there; A few companies (by working for two of them over 7 years, I had basically worked for 50% of multinational companies in the area. It was also the recession, apartments were cheap and aplenty. Then Apple moved an office there, and Fireeye, Qualcomm, plus Dell increased their presence. Now Cork has the same issue as Dublin, multiplied in magnitude as the city has no public transport except for a few ghost buses.
It's a tough one, I could do my job in the North, after all the construction industry is everywhere - given lower housing prices, profits etc, would I earn the same - possibly... Where my other family live, near Durham, most driveways have 1 if not more new cars, people in their 20's are driving cars I could only dream of having one day, and the standard of living seems a bit higher - I'm guessing as the housing is cheaper..
Judging by most train tickets - another mortgage...
Jesus, I though mine was bad - granted, I'm only down the road from Southampton, not a popular hub like London (or Dublin) luckily, I can count on a parental gift, not that I want to, but I've just had to ask my parents for £14k, granted they have it, but I don't feel at all comfortable asking for it.
Anyway, with a couple of fibs, a promise to remove my loan etc, and add another 5% deposit (hence the gift) - I've been told I do make affordability - now lets see the mortgage checks fall on their face.
I obviously didn't mean it as a dig to you; My own parents, 30-something years ago, had to benefit from a substantial loan from their families to get an apartment. I am staunchly opposed to that, but that's my choice and possibly my own fault.
Here, I kid you not, you get plenty of younger couples who have no sense whatsoever because they didn't earn the money they are spending; It has to be said that Dublin, as a general concept, IS a very rich city - established families, with adult kids, are often quite well off; Certainly much more than in Italy and probably a bit more than in the UK with maybe the exception of London.
I've been to "open viewings" to RENT a place where I overheard a couple going "we should offer 1800!" all hush hush between the two of them - when the landlord asked for 1200/month.
A guy at work, looking for a place to buy with his partner, has been already outbid 3 times in a row by other couples just walking in with cash and bidding 50-75k ABOVE the asking price. It sounds like the stuff out of some comedy where an idiot at an auction keeps topping his own bid, but that's happening for real - they come in, the owner asks say 250, there's been a bid for that money, they go "right, we offer...mmm...325?". This kind of behaviour puts basically anyone else out of the market, even if they earn a salary that's substantially above average.
What's absolutely infuriating is seeing how detached from reality these people are, completely failing to see how easy they're having it, and hearing them constantly complaining about a market that is out of control, pretty much, because of THEIR actions. But sure, blame "vulture funds", because heaven forbids people looked in the mirror for a moment.