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House prices still rising in 2006

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Nationwide has reported that house price growth increased steadily in August, with the property market staying “firm” according to its pundits.

Prices increased by 0.8% during the month, the same as in July, and lifted the annual growth rate to 6.6%. This was the fastest yearly growth rate since April 2005 and the average property in the UK now costs £167,721.

“While the Monetary Policy Committee (the body that sets interest rates) is in hawkish mood, economic uncertainties mean that fewer rate rises and expected and property owners and homebuyers feel more confident,” said Nationwide chief economist, Fionnuala Earley.

She added that she did not expect interest rates to have such a significant downward effect on house prices as they did in 2003-04.

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