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Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 14:54 GMT
UK house prices 'fell in October'
Antrim, Northern Ireland
Prices have been booming in places like Antrim, Northern Ireland
House prices in the UK fell slightly in October, says the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG).

Average prices dropped by 0.3% from September to 197,987, it said.

However, the annual rate of house price inflation continued to rise, up from 8% to 8.6%, as there was an even bigger drop in prices in October last year.

The main reason for the fall in the average price being paid was due almost entirely to a drop in the price of detached houses, which fell by 2.1%.

Although the value of terraced houses dropped by 0.1%, the price of semi-detached houses, bungalows and flats all rose.

"Higher interest rate are clearly having little impact on housing demand," said Milan Khatri, chief economist of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Northern Ireland

London is still far and away the most expensive area to buy a house, with average prices now standing at 288,593.

Average house prices in October
England 205,688
N. Ireland 175,991
Wales 158,105
Scotland 145,315
Source: DCLG

But the DCLG figures highlight that Northern Ireland's house price boom, which started at the beginning of the year, is becoming even more vigorous.

Prices there have risen by 31.6% in the last year, up from 23.6% in September.

The inflation rate also rose in England from 7.2% to 7.9%, and in Scotland from 12.9% to 13.6%.

But in Wales prices slowed down with the annual inflation rate dropping back from 10.3% to 7%.

Meanwhile, Halifax bank, the UK's biggest mortgage lender released its prediction for the property market in 2007.

It said it expected annual house price inflation to run at 4% during 2007.

At present, according to the bank, annual house price inflation is nearly 10%.

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