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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 00:44 GMT
North house prices rise fastest
For sale sign in Aberdeen
Aberdeen property prices are leading the market
The north of Scotland has seen house prices rise faster than anywhere else in the country in the past year, according to new figures.

The report by Lloyds TSB showed Aberdeen leading the market, with prices rising by 34% in the past 12 months and 4% in the past quarter.

A home in the Granite City now costs 207,315 on average, well above the Scottish average of 168,559.

However, property values in Edinburgh have fallen over the past three months.

Experts said they feared the 5.6% dip in Edinburgh over the last quarter could be a sign of things to come across the rest of the country.

Gradual slowdown

Elsewhere in the north, excluding Aberdeen, prices have risen by 22% since October 2006 and 9.6% in the last quarter.

The gains put the north ahead of Scotland as a whole, which has seen average house prices rise by 14.5% in the last year and 3.6% in the last quarter.

However, the increases have not been replicated in the south, where there are signs of a gradual slowdown, particularly in the major cities.

In Glasgow, price increases were the lowest in the country, rising just 6% in the last year and 0.9% in the last quarter.

Edinburgh remained the most expensive place in Scotland to buy a home at 220,066 on average.

We've seen indications of a slight drop in Edinburgh this quarter but that happens and the next quarter it could go up again due to the fluctuations of the market
Lloyds TSB spokesman

Although prices rose by 18% over the past year, they fell by 5.6% in the last three months.

A spokesman for Lloyds TSB said price changes in the capital could indicate what might happen elsewhere in the market.

He said: "We've seen indications of a slight drop in Edinburgh this quarter but that happens and the next quarter it could go up again due to the fluctuations of the market.

"We would not read that as an indication that things are about to slow down.

"But we would always expect Edinburgh and Glasgow to be the first to show any signs of falling because they were first in the market and in some respects the rest of the country is playing catch up."

In Dundee, prices rose by 17% in the last year and 2.7% in the last quarter.

Other regions also saw steady growth, with prices in south west Scotland increasing by 10% in the last year and 5% in the last quarter.

South east Scotland saw an increase of 13% in the past year and 3.7% in the last quarter.

'Slight decline'

Central, Fife, Perth and Tayside also saw a 13% increase and a 0.7% quarterly rise.

Professor Donald MacRae, chief economist at Lloyds TSB Scotland, said a gradual slowdown may take place in the Scottish housing market.

He said: "There is no evidence of any crash in Scottish house prices. Rather, the Scottish housing market continues to show robust annual increases in excess of inflation.

"However, the slight decline in the quarter in Edinburgh prices may yet be replicated around Scotland when interest rate rises and increases in the cost of borrowing take full effect.

"The increase in Scottish house prices needs to slow. However, this will happen as a gentle slowing in price as opposed to an abrupt fall."

Prices for flats, semi-detached, terraced and detached properties have all risen by 14-16% in the past 12 months.

The figures were published by the Lloyds TSB Scotland House Price Monitor.

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