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House prices rise by £2,000 in 2006

16 January 2006
Homeowners across the country saw the value of their property increase by £2,000 in the first week of January alone, according to new figures.

The cost of the average property now comes in at £196,319, a 0.9 per cent rise on the asking price from the previous month, according to property website Rightmove.

It claims that its figures represent more than 60 per cent of all properties on the books of estate agents across the country.

The annual price change to the start of January also rose to 3.6 per cent, a 0.2 per cent improvement from December.

Rightmove put the price increases down to first-time buyers who took advantage of the quiet pre-Christmas period to negotiate their way to a good deal on a new home.

The average asking price for terraces, flats and apartments consequently rose by one per cent over the period.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, told the Times: "While it’s still a buyer’s market, prospective purchasers now need to think about how long it will remain in their favour if these increases continue."

A study by also revealed that the number of first-time house hunters rose to 37 per cent in December, up from 33 per cent in November and 25 per cent in September.

It found that the market was flooded with small houses with 41 per cent of the UK's housing stock having two bedrooms which only fitted the specifications of 21 per cent of house hunters.

With developers also focusing on building smaller homes, their value has fallen, making it easier for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

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