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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
University towns in house price boom
'For Sale' sign
The housing market may start to slow next year
The cost of houses in university towns and cities has risen sharply in recent years, as parents buy property for their student offspring, research by the Halifax bank suggests.

The most dramatic rise was seen in Bath, where the average price of a semi-detached property rose 118% from 86,500 to 188,500 between 1997 and 2001.

Percentage price rise from 1997 to 2001
Bath 118%
Oxford 99%
Southampton 85%
Cambridge 83%
Edinburgh 82%
St Andrews 82%
Colchester 78%
London 76%
Bristol 72%
Leeds 50%
Birmingham 47%
Coventry 38%

Source: Halifax
The second biggest rise was seen in Oxford, where prices rose by 99% from 100,550 to 200,400 in the same period.

Next in the bank's table of 25 major university towns was Southampton, where a 85% rise took the average price from 67,150 to 124,400.

The smallest rise was in Glasgow, where property prices increased 18% from 65,900 to 78,000, followed by Newcastle upon Tyne, which saw a 22% rise from 67,800 to 83,000.

Safety and debt fears

The bank said parents bought houses for their offspring because they wanted them to live somewhere safe and near to the university campus.

And with the abolition of student grants and the introduction of tuition fees of 1,075 (for students from more affluent backgrounds) parents were also concerned about their children building up high debts, the Halifax said.

Jane Pridgeon, Managing Director of Halifax Estate Agencies, said: "Feedback from our offices in university towns and cities shows a definite increase in this type of purchase over the past few years."

"The availability and popularity of buy-to-let and guarantor mortgages is enabling many more parents to provide this level of support to their children and at the same time take advantage of an investment opportunity," Ms Pridgeon said.

See also:

02 Sep 01 | Business
House price boom surges on
20 Aug 01 | Business
House price rises 'set to slow'
03 Aug 01 | Business
Property price rises start to slow
10 Jul 01 | Business
London homes cost twice UK average
05 Jan 01 | Education
Teacher shortage is 'housing problem'
03 Aug 01 | Education
Cheaper homes for teachers
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