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Property looks lusty as prices power up again for Spring

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Property prices are still rising strongly in 2007 as houses are proving to be an enduring UK investment for many people, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

The monthly Halifax survey showed that prices rose by 1.8% in February, maintaining the annual rate of house price inflation at just under 10%.

According to Halifax, the average house price is now £192,233, and in the three months to February prices rose by 2.3%, half the level seen in the preceding three months.

But the February rise was the strongest seen since October 2006 and pointed to the continuing health of the UK property market as a saving and investment arena.

“A shortage of new and second hand properties available for sale has continued to push up house prices so far in 2007 as people make their UK investment in a home,” said Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis.

“However, I think that as the year goes on, higher house prices, making it hard for first-time buyers to come into the market, and rising interest rates, could dampen things down.

“The number of new mortgage approvals, a key indicator of how things are going, has been slowing of late.”

To back Ellis’ claims of a slowing market, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported last week that enquiries from potential homebuyers making a UK investment in property had fallen for the first time in two years.

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