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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 06:49 GMT
Views on high house prices sought
House prices
Northern Ireland's house prices continue to rise steadily
The government is calling for views on how to tackle the growing cost of housing in Northern Ireland.

Property prices are now rising at a rate of more than 100 a day in Northern Ireland.

The government has said there is a "serious lack" of decent, affordable housing for people to buy or rent.

The ideas to be considered include taking land away from property speculators who have failed to build housing on it.

Other suggestions include helping housing associations to secure more land for building, vesting empty properties and extending or abolishing the limit on housing values for co-ownership schemes.

There could even be an exemption from stamp duty for some first-time buyers to help them purchase low-cost homes.

The proposals will be subject to a six-week consultation period.

The cost of houses in some areas has increased by more than 65% in the past 12 months, according to a report published at the start of this month.

The University of Ulster/Bank of Ireland report said Lisburn was now the highest priced area in Northern Ireland, with the city's average house price almost 227,000.

Yvette Shapiro reports on the rising cost of hosing

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