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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 16:04 GMT
UK house market 'strong in 2006'
For sale signs
The UK housing market was buoyed by a sound economy, RICS says
House prices in the UK rose at a faster pace during 2006 than in other major European economies such as France, Germany or Italy, a survey has said.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' European Housing review found UK prices rose by about 10% last year, helped by a sound economy.

This compared with a 7% rise in France, 4% in Italy and no growth in Germany.

However, growth in the UK was not as high as in some Scandinavian countries and Central and Eastern Europe.

House prices grew by 22% in Denmark, 17% in Norway and 11% in Sweden.

Further east, Poland saw house price inflation in excess of 30%, while property values in Bulgaria and Estonia grew by close to 20%.

The report's author Professor Michael Ball said that in the UK and other high-value housing markets such as Ireland and Spain, sound economic fundamentals had prevented price falls.

"Fears of a considerable house price slowdown in what are considered as over-heated markets of the UK, Spain and Ireland, once again proved to be quite off the mark," he said.

"Rising income and employment have cushioned these and other markets across Europe from rising interest rates, and the prospects for 2007 remain good."


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