House prices have multiplied 135 times in 70 years pounds 600 in Thirties now sells for pounds 81,000

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The Independent Online
HOUSE PRICES have multiplied by 135 times in the last 70 years, according to a survey by the Halifax. In the 1930s, the earliest available records show that the average house cost pounds 600. That has now risen to pounds 81,002. And and prices are expected to rise by 11 per cent next year.

David Parry, divisional director of planning for the Nationwide, the UK's biggest building society, forecast that 1.58 million houses would change hands next year, an increase from 1.47 million in 1999.

Barry Naisbit, chief economist at Abbey National, said high employment and rising incomes would continue to move the housing market ahead. But he added that there would be no return to the boom of the late 1980s. "An average house is currently worth around three times the annual average earnings, which is considerably below the peak of five times the average earnings in 1989."

Mr Naisbit said that wide regional differences would also even out next year. The South-east has far outstripped other regions. But while house prices in London will continue to grow strongly, other regions are expected to narrow the gap with even stronger price rises.