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March sees house prices up 6.7 per cent

House prices in England and Wales increased by an average of 6.7 per cent in March compared to one year ago, the sharpest rise in almost four years.Research from Hometrack found that average house costs increased by 0.8 per cent in March after a 0.7 per cent rise in February, boosting the overall inflation of homes. However house prices in London grew by 1.8 per cent in March, the sharpest monthly increase in the capital since July 2002."The headline figures continue to be distorted by a robust London housing market that appears largely disconnected from the rest of the country where the impetus for price growth is far more subdued," said Richard Donnell, director of research for Hometrack.Shortage of housing in the capital has moved the demand for property into the surrounding areas.Mr Donnell said: "What we are seeing is a ripple effect. House-price growth has picked up in London's suburbs."Higher interest rates and increased affordability pressures are clearly limiting house price growth across large parts of the country. However, supply shortages combined with confident buyers is resulting in an acceleration in house price growth in London," he added.

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