House price rise continues

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House prices raced ahead by 2.9% during December as consumer confidence bounced back after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Halifax said.

Britain's biggest mortgage lender said prices last month rose at their fastest rate since October 1999 to bring annual house price inflation to 15.5% for 2001.

But the group warned increases were set to ease during the coming year as both slowing economic growth and rising unemployment took their toll on the market.

The average price of a house is now £98,885.

Today's results compare to a 1.9% rise in house prices during December reported by Nationwide last week, bringing annual growth for 2001 to 13.8%.

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