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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 10:46 GMT
'Fast fall' for Welsh home prices
Port Talbot
Fast price rises in towns like Port Talbot may come to an end
House prices in Wales are expected to fall faster than anywhere else in the UK, an economics research group claims.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said Welsh house price decline in 2006 would be 8.3%.

The economics consultancy expects the price of the average house in the United Kingdom to fall by 6% this year and again by 2.2% in 2007.

In 2004, house prices in Wales rose by 36.5% and by 31% in 2003. Average prices are expected to reach 157,000.

Last week a bank revealed houses outside Cardiff and Swansea had seen the largest 2004 price increases in Wales.

The Halifax report said Port Talbot led the way, with average prices going up by 50%. The town was third among more than 600 UK places surveyed by the bank.

'No collapse'

Seven of the UK's top 20 towns for house price growth were in Wales.

According to the Halifax, the average price of property in Wales is now 145,940.

The stagnation in prices is likely to continue for five years, according to the CEBR.

Mark Pragnell, managing director of CEBR, said: "Although house prices will weaken in the medium term, we are not predicting a collapse.

"Fundamentally, we're not building houses quick enough to keep up with rising demand - in 2003, only 190,000 new homes were built.

"Although that was the highest total in six years, it is well below the average of 362,000 homes completed each year in the 1960s and the 314,000 annual average of the 1970s.'

The cheapest place to buy a home in Wales at present is Aberdare, where average prices are 85,638.




SEE ALSO:
Towns top house price rise table
29 Dec 04 |  South West Wales


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