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LONDON-Cheltenham saw the greatest rise in property prices in July recording a 2%increase, according to property research company Hometrack. Its Augustsurvey of UK cities showed the average property price in Cheltenham, bestknown for its racecourse and schools, costing £163,282 (239,000). The only other UKcities to experience rises in excess of 1% were Exeter (1.7%), Brighton(1.36%), Birmingham (1.21%), Milton Keynes (1.09%) and Cambridge (1.04%).

The most expensive city in the country remains Guildford, with propertyprices averaging £230,751 ($340,000) although down 0.18% on June figures. Winchesterwas the second most expensive centre, with homes averaging £230,071, ($339,000) withLondon in third place with £202,300 ($295,000) ,up 0.4% on June. The North continuesto offer best value for money, with properties averaging £41,115 ($60,000) inLiverpool, £42,492 ($62,000) in Hull, £49,136 ($71,750) in Blackpool, £52,012 ($76,000) in Middlesboroughand £52,458 ($76,500) in Bradford.

John Wriglesworth, hometrack¹s housing economist, said ‘Inward blue chipinvestment and efficient communications networks, attracting key workers,seem to be the key factors maintaining property price growth. Cheltenhamattracts new buyers to the area with its high standard of education andgreat communications, whilst growing numbers of young professionals areabandoning the capital for a better quality of life in Brighton. Similarly,the regeneration of Birmingham city centre, and its reliable train service,and the prominence of high tech business parks and green field residentialsites around Cambridge, continue to put upward pressure on prices. Northerncities continue to be most affordable although not necessarily the bestinvestment as, in July, several experienced negative growth.’

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