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Last Updated: Monday, 7 August 2006, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
House prices near 200,000 mark
London eye

The price of an average home in England and Wales is closing in on 200,000, according to the Land Registry.

In the April to June period the average house price in England and Wales was up 7.71% on a year ago to 199,184.

In addition, the number of home sales jumped by 24% compared with last year, the registry said.

On Tuesday the Nationwide upped its forecast for house price growth in 2006 from the 0-3% range to 5%, despite a recent interest rate rise.

Last week, the Bank of England raised interest rates to 4.75% in a bid to quell inflation and some analysts think this move could cool the housing market.

Regional differences

The Land Registry figures show that annual house price inflation was at its highest, at more than 11%, in the north and north-west of England. The key London market saw prices rise by more than 8%.

At the other end of the scale, prices increased by 4% in East Anglia and by 4.4% in the East Midlands.

However, this is still ahead of both general price inflation and rises in average earnings.

Overall, the Land Registry report indicated that prices have risen in all parts of England and Wales during spring and summer.

Rate rise

The Land Registry's findings echo those of recent house price surveys by the Halifax and Nationwide.

Both groups noted that house price inflation - particularly in London - has beaten analysts' forecasts so far this year.

As a result, last week the Halifax upped its forecast for house price inflation in 2006 from 3% to 5%.

But last week's increase in UK interest rates to 4.75%, may dampen housing market demand, experts say.

AVERAGE PRICES BY REGION
Region Apr-Jun 2005 Apr-Jun 2006 % Increase
North 124,055 137,861 11.13
North West 132,015 146,601 11.05
Yorks 133,692 147,230 10.13
Greater London 293,349 317,679 8.29
Wales 138,329 149,063 7.76
West Midlands 155,115 164,576 6.10
South East 223,373 236,915 6.06
South West 195,496 205,768 5.25
East Midlands 149,683 156,243 4.38
East Anglia 174,929 181,925 4.00
Source: Land Registry




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