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NI houses lead price growth

House prices in Northern Ireland rose by 14.6 per cent in the last three months, the latest housing monitor shows, contributing to annual inflation of 9.5 per cent in Britain.Building society Nationwide says that the growth experienced in the province is the fastest since its own records began in 1973.Nationwide's last quarterly report showed that annual house price inflation stood at 9.3 per cent in the UK.In the last three months in London meanwhile, property values went up at their quickest rate for four years.But Nationwide warns that the overall yearly growth of 9.5 per cent is being fuelled principally by houses in Northern Ireland and the capital, with property values in the north of England increasing at half the rate of their southern counterparts.The building society's chief economist Fionnuala Earley explained that the "northern and north-west regions and Wales saw the biggest slowdown in the annual rate of house price growth".She went on to predict that overall the "annual rate of house price growth in the UK is firm, but the quarterly data suggests that the underlying rate of growth is now starting to cool".

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