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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Capital's house prices 'soaring'
The cost of the average home in Edinburgh has risen by 19 per cent
House prices in the centre of Edinburgh have risen again after a period of slow growth, according to a property firm.

Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) said the cost of the average home has gone up by 19% in a year, to 225,041.

The cost of homes across the rest of the city has also jumped by more than 8% to an average of 179,215.

Property experts said the rise across Edinburgh was "above expectations" for first quarter sales.

We expected the first quarter to be strong but an 8% increase across Edinburgh was above our expectations
Simon Fairclough
ESPC spokesman

Simon Fairclough, ESPC spokesman, said: "We expected the first quarter to be strong but an 8% increase across Edinburgh was above our expectations.

"All the information we have suggests that the second quarter will see similar growth.

"The city is a very attractive place. We have a very city centric culture in Edinburgh - people can live, work, dine and be entertained there."

Similar jumps

There were similar jumps across the Lothians as buyers looked outside Edinburgh for bargains, while the number of sales in West Fife and Kinross increased by 40%.

Falkirk continues to enjoy significant price growth, as it did throughout 2005, with average prices for the first quarter up by more than 30%.

For the Falkirk district as a whole, prices rose by almost 18%.

Robin Stimpson, ESPC chairman, said: "Whilst growth in Edinburgh's city centre was strong in the first quarter, buyers continued to look outside the city for bargains.

"West Lothian saw average prices jump by 15.2% to 145,141.

"Meanwhile, in East Lothian, average prices stood at 173,126, up by 15.3%."

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