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All hail the North!Why Because, as a property professional, if you're not doing so already, you very soon will be.

Yes, it is true, this is the year it all changes and the tables have are beginning to turn. The six year reign of the South is coming to an end.

Over the next 12 months, it looks like property sales in areas including Liverpool, Glasgow and Sheffield will feed house price growth, keeping the national average looking healthy as a result.

Indeed, recent reports highlight that, over the last three months, average monthly growth rates in these cities have all surpassed London - which, as we know, is an impressive feat indeed.

While I could explain the maths behind it, it really comes down to one thing: housing in London, and the South more generally, is becoming increasingly unaffordable - while in the North, this is not (yet) the case.

Here's why

Because the housing recovery in the North has been shorter than that in the South, house prices have not been given the chance to jump leaps and bounds ahead of what anyone in their local areas can come even close to affording - bar very few.

Taking the (admittedly extreme) example of London, we know that house prices in the capital are 12 times average earnings. This is not helped by the attraction of the city to foreign property investors who have the sort of access to cash the average Londoner can but dream of but there you go.

The fact is that Londoners cannot, generally speaking, afford to buy homes in their local area - and with new housing in short supply, this is stagnating growth.

If you're in the North, this is simply not the case. And this offers up a real opportunity for people to get a foot on - or even climb further up the property ladder.

Property prices in northern cities and towns have tended to hang around closer to the UK average of 6.3 times earnings - with some places hitting as low as three times local average earnings. I know you know that when it comes to property, we are talking about an absolute steal.

Savvy northerners are well aware of it too - and i think this will be a key feature of house price growth in 2015.

This is not to say that prices are going to continue to shoot through the roof as has been the trend over the last two years - for a number of reasons, 2015 is actually going to be an unusual year for the housing market.

What does appear to be true, however, is that whilst the wider market slows, the Northern property market will play a bigger role in keeping things buoyant over the next 12 months.

*Eddie Goldsmith is Chairman of the Conveyancing Association and Senior Partner at Goldsmith Williams


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