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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 December 2005, 00:37 GMT
Scots towns head house price list
Estate agent, Coatbridge
Coatbridge, where prices have risen significantly
Two Scottish towns have seen the highest increase in house prices in the UK this year, according to new figures.

Alexandria in West Dunbartonshire and Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire both saw an average 35% rise in 2005.

Nine of the 20 towns which had the biggest price increases in the UK were in Scotland, the study said.

The Bank Of Scotland survey listed four Fife towns among the highest risers. Cupar and Lochgelly (both 31%), Glenrothes (28%) and Leven (26%).

Peterhead in Aberdeenshire (25%), Irvine in Ayrshire (24%) and Aberdeen (21%) were the other Scottish towns in the UK top 20.

Most expensive

Wishaw and Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, Larkhall in South Lanarkshire and Oban in Argyll also recorded house price increases of at least 15% during 2005, highlighting the strength of the Scottish market, the survey said.

Edinburgh was still the most expensive place in Scotland to buy a home, according to the Bank of Scotland.

The average price in the capital was 180,303 - up 2% on 2004.

Helensburgh was the second most expensive town in Scotland with an average house price of 165,116 - an increase of 1% in the past 12 months.

The East Lothian towns of Tranent and Musselburgh were new entries to the list of the 15 most expensive places to buy a house in Scotland.

2005 is Scotland's Year with nine of the 20 towns in the UK delivering the biggest price increases located north of the border
Martin Ellis
Bank of Scotland

The study said Scotland remained the least expensive place in Britain for homebuyers.

Despite the huge rise, Lochgelly, with an average price of 81,131, remained the least expensive town to buy a house in the UK.

The survey said four other towns had average prices below 100,000.

They were Kelty (84,820), Clydebank (96,279), Greenock (97,766) and Larkhall (97,963).

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "2005 is Scotland's Year with nine of the 20 towns in the UK delivering the biggest price increases located north of the border.

"House price growth in Scotland continues to outpace the UK average and this trend is expected to continue into 2006. Despite the recent increases, Scotland is the most affordable part of the UK."

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