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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 February, 2005, 00:00 GMT
Houses 'breach 100,000 UK-wide'
A couple looking round a house with an estate agent
Prices have broken through 100,000 in every county
The average house price has broken through the 100,000 barrier in every UK county for the first time, a Halifax bank survey suggests.

Surrey has the highest average price at 345,485, while County Tyrone has the lowest at 102,959.

However, 2004 saw the gap between house prices in the south of England and the rest of the UK closing slightly, Halifax said.

The top 20 counties for house price growth were all outside the south.

Southern slowdown

County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland saw the fastest rate of house price growth in 2004, followed closely by the Scottish Highlands and West Glamorgan in Wales.

All these areas saw house prices grow by more than 30% during 2004.

In total, 16 counties saw average prices breach the 100,000 barrier for the first time, including six in Scotland and five in northern Ireland.

At the other end of the scale, Hertfordshire, Cambridge and East Sussex, all traditionally high-price areas, saw single-digit price growth.

Out of 13 counties with average prices above 200,000, only one, Herefordshire, is outside the south of England.

"There was a clear tendency for those counties experiencing the strongest price gain in 2004 to be the ones where average prices were amongst the least expensive in the country," Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist, said.

Counties where prices have risen fastest
County Region Avg prices 2003 Avg prices 2004 % Change
Fermanagh N Ireland 79,962 111,187 39%
Highlands Scotland 95,399 130,749 37%
West Glamorgan Wales 95,598 128,135 34%
Gwynedd Wales 105,866 140,657 33%
Cleveland North 96,900 126,629 31%
County Durham North 95,270 123,555 30%
Borders Scotland 108,011 140,061 30%
Dumfries & Galloway Scotland 92,897 117,993 27%
Cumbria North 113,403 142,532 26%
Merseyside North-West 111,168 139,088 25%
Source: Halifax

Counties where prices have risen slowest
County Region Avg prices 2003 Avg prices 2004 % Change
County-Down N Ireland 121,176 128,955 6%
Hertfordshire South-east 248,731 265,520 7%
Cambridgeshire East Anglia 167,074 179,308 7%
East Sussex South-east 196,424 211,579 8%
Essex South-east 196,905 212,614 8%
Wiltshire South-west 169,416 183,804 8%
West Sussex South-east 215,438 234,039 9%
County-Armagh N Ireland 96,326 104,819 9%
Lothian Scotland 148,025 161,095 9%
Berkshire South-east 239,700 261,081 9%
Source: Halifax




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