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Last Updated: Friday, 8 August, 2003, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
Wales house prices soar
House prices
House price percentage rises in Wales have increased well above the UK average
Average house prices in Wales have increased by 23.66% in the past year.

This is over 11% up on the England and Wales national average increase of 12.52% over the same period of April-June 2003.

The average price for a house in Wales in this period was 98,186, compared with 79,397 in 2002.

Blaenau Gwent remains the cheapest place to buy a house with prices actually falling from 41,939 in the second quarter of last year to 41,646.

In contrast, Monmouthshire was the most expensive area in which to buy, with the average price at 147,312.

Cardiff followed at 139,644, the Pembrokeshire average was 108,028, in Conwy it was 108,686 and the Wrexham average was 105,971.

At the other end of the scale, Merthyr Tydfil prices averaged 50,843, Neath and Port Talbot was 61,669 followed by Rhondda Cynon Taff at 63,174.

The Land Registry's quarterly residential property price report said that average prices in England and Wales were 12.52% higher between April and June than they had been during the same period last year.

But the growth rate in slowing - it was 19.7% in January to March compared to the same period last year and 22.2% in the final three months of 2002.

Slowest growth

At the same time the volume of sales fell by more than 16% with just 245,632 properties changing hands compared with 293,352 in the same period a year before.

The slowest growth was in Greater London where prices were up by around 6% but the number of sales dropped by more than a quarter to 28,911 from 38,681 a year before.

Despite the slowdown, London remained by far the most expensive part of the country in which to buy with prices averaging 246,710 against a national figure of 149,935.

After London itself, the south east England was the most expensive region with prices averaging 194,924.

Meanwhile the fastest growth was seen in the east Midlands where prices were up by almost a quarter on the previous year to an average of 120,759.

The most expensive place to buy a house remained Kensington and Chelsea in London where the average home now costs 642,483 followed by the City of Westminster at 459,517.

Land Surveys
The Land Registry housing survey is one of several produced
The most recent survey, June 2003, published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported that housing market activity in Wales was expected to pick up in the summer months.

In Torfaen, RICS member E B Morgan said there were a "large number of enquiries from Newport and Bristol, where prospective purchasers were unable to buy at sensible prices."

The firm added that purchasers were looking in the Cwmbran and Pontypool areas and even at the top of the valley where prices were increasing.

In Pembrokeshire, the RICS survey said realistically priced properties were meeting a strong demand.

In Ynys Mon, there was a shortage in the first-time buyer market and a Rhyl RICS member David Jones said first-time buyers were being priced out of the market.

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