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House prices rise beyond £200,000 level

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The average house price in the UK has broken the £200,000 barrier and is now £201,090, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The figure showed prices to be rising at 9.9% a year in December 2006, up from 8.8% in November, with little evidence so far of a cooling in prices caused by the recent increases in interest rates and demonstrating that property is still the favourite UK investment of many people across the country.

Halifax and Nationwide put the figure at £188,623 and £173,325 respectively, although allowance has to be made for differences in the way average prices are calculated and the location of the samples used in the equations. Last summer, for example, the Land Registry put the average UK house price at £211,453.

“The breaching of the £200,000 level, at least according to the DCLG, is psychologically important and shows that the national housing market remains remarkably robust,” said property analyst John Mitchell.

“Despite the recent Bank Rate rises, and consequently more expensive mortgage repayments, the combination of a sound wider economy and property’s status as a commodity in short supply means that the market has been largely unaffected.

He concluded: “Houses will always be a top UK investment for many.”

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