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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
House prices rising 1,100 a week
A woman looking in the w2indow of an estate agents
The price of an average home in England and Wales is increasing by more than 1,100 a week, a survey by property website Rightmove has said.

Average prices have risen almost 14,500 to 188,652 in the past three months, up 15.6% on the previous year.

Between April and May, the survey said, the rise was 2.4%, with Wales and the west of England leading the way.

Rightmove said buy-to-let investors were responsible for sending the housing market into "overdrive".

Tax-free gain

"The owner-occupier has been doing very well this year," said Mike Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove. "Just by owning the average property he or she has been making a tax-free capital gain of over 1,100 a week.

"To earn that much from their day job they'd have to earn well over 90,000 a year."

The Rightmove findings are in line with those of other recent housing market surveys.

Halifax, Nationwide and the Land Registry have all indicated house price inflation running between 14% and 19% in their most recent research.

But a contrasting picture emerged from a National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) report, which indicated on Monday that the current surge in prices could come to an end soon.

According to the NAEA survey, one in three estate agents agreed that house price inflation would show a "dramatic slowdown" by the end of 2005.

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