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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 October 2005, 03:01 GMT 04:01 UK
UK property price divide narrows
Property for sale signs
Gaps between house prices in the north and south have narrowed
The north-south gap in house prices has narrowed to its lowest level in eight years, research shows.

Prices in the south are now 1.58 times the average in the north, dropping from twice the average in 2002.

Banking group Halifax found that, while prices fell in parts of southern England, other areas saw property price growth of more than a third.

Coatbridge in Strathclyde was the top property hotspot in the survey, with a 36% rise in prices over the year,


It was followed by Port Talbot in West Glamorgan (35%), Inverurie in Grampian (32%) and Lochgelly in Fife (31%).

But the Halifax added that the annual rate of house price inflation has slowed in all regions over the past 12 months, with all regions experiencing growth of less than 10%.

Hertfordshire had the biggest property price fall, being down by 6%. Surrey, Somerset, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Dorset, all saw prices go down by 5%.

Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis said: "These falls need to be viewed in the context of the substantial price rises recorded in these parts of the country during the last few years."

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