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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
NI dominates housing hotspot list
House prices
Northern Ireland's house prices continue to rise steadily
The price of an average house in Craigavon, County Armagh, leapt by more than 65,000 in the space of a year, according to Halifax.

It said average house prices in the town went up from 118,551 to 183,795.

The survey found the top 10 UK property hotspots in the first quarter of 2007 are in Northern Ireland.

Halifax said the average value of property in NI went through the 200,000 barrier for the first time between January and the end of March.

It said only London, the South East and the South West had higher average house prices.

In the same survey, it said every town in the UK has an average house price above 100,000 for the first time ever.

The town with the cheapest property is Lochgelly in Fife, where the average home costs 104,738.

Meanwhile, Professor Stanley McGreal, one of the authors of the University of Ulster's quarterly report on housing trends, predicts less significant growth this year.

"We were absolutely surprised with the rate of increase recorded for last year," he said.

"Our prediction for 2007 is certainly to see a slower market, probably coming down to around maybe 15% to 17% increase over 2007, which is still, of course, high, historically."

Top 10 UK property hotspots
Based on average first quarter prices
Town 2006 Q1 2007 Q1 % change
Craigavon 118,551 183,795 55%
Newtownards 127,590 197,134 55%
Newry 141,157 214,706 52%
Larne 100,449 150,277 50%
Newtownabbey 111,236 163,296 47%
Armagh 125,610 180,392 44%
Downpatrick 142,644 204,807 44%
Belfast 132,195 184,579 40%
Antrim 127,961 177,860 39%
Lisburn 145,600 202,311 39%
Source: Halifax House Price Index Q1

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