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UK house prices continue to rise in January ahead of new stap duty

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UK house prices
Housing in Great Britain   Land Registry reveals:

UK house prices continued to surge in January as buy-to-let and second home purchasers rushed in ahead of the government's new stamp duty charges.

The Land Registry said house prices in England and Wales rose 2.5% in January compared to the previous month, pushing the year-on-year gain to a 14-month high of 7.1%. The figures marked a further pick-up in growth from December's month-on-month increase of 0.5% and year-on-year rise of 5.5%.

The number of house purchases, however, decreased over the past year as demand continued to outpace the supply of homes.

An average of 78,652 sales per month were made between August and November in 2015, compared to 81,656 sales per month the same period a year earlier.

The report follows data from the British Bankers Association on Wednesday which showed mortgage approvals for house purchases rose to a 23-month high of 47,509 in January compared to December's seven-month low of 43,660.

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