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House price inflation still at a high level, says the Halifax

House prices increased by 2.2 per cent in May, taking the average UK house price to £157,849, according to the Halifax.

The Halifax monthly house price index reports that the market has remained strong in the north and house price inflation has picked up in the south of England following a slowdown in 2003.

Difficulties facing first time buyers and higher interest rates are expected to exert downward pressure on house price inflation later in the year and in 2005.

Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis says: “Strong housing demand, together with supply shortages, is maintaining house price inflation at a high level.”

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