House price growth accelerated across all UK regions in the final quarter of 2006, with London continuing to lead the way in England, according to Nationwide's house price review.
The annual rate of house price inflation in the UK rose to 9.3% in quarter four of 2006, representing a £40 increase each day and pushing the price of a typical house up to £172,065.
Prices in Northern Ireland had an annual growth rate of 44.1% - almost five times faster than the UK average and almost three times faster than the 16% recorded in the next best performer, Scotland.
London remains the strongest performer in England and is seeing double-digit house price growth for the first time in over two years.
House prices in London increased by 11.3% over the past year and the price of a typical property in London is now £269,327 – 42.1% higher than the average price in England and 56.5% higher than the average price in the UK.
The North saw a turnaround in the final quarter of the year with prices increasing by 8.6% over the year, while Wales saw a similar revival and experienced an 8.9% increase in prices compared to the 0.1% fall in 2005.
Fionnuala Earley, group economist at Nationwide, says: “Looking forward we expect that UK house price growth will be led by London and the South East where supply issues are most acute. Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to post strong year-on-year gains but at a much slower rate than in 2006. Overall we expect the housing market to remain fairly firm across the whole of the UK in 2007.”
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