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New figures reveal growing house price gap

New figures released by the Land Registry show house prices are continuing to rise sharply, with a widening gap between London and the rest of the country.The average price of a home in the UK was £170,000 in February - a rise of 5.3 per cent on last year's figures. Prices are still below the £181,658 peak recorded in 2007, however.In the capital, the average cost of a home rocketed by 13.8 per cent over the course of the year and now stands at £414,356. Prices in the rest of the south-east rose by 7.1 per cent, taking the average cost of a home there to £223,733.In other parts of the country, the figures tell a different story. Prices in the north-east fell by 1.3 per cent to an average of £97,332. Compared with January's figures, that represents a drop of 1.4 per cent.During December 2013, the last month for which data is available, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales rose by a third to 75,182. In December 2012, the figure was 56,697.Nicholas Ayre, managing director of homebuying agency Home Fusion, commented: "The gulf in property prices across the UK grows ever bigger with London house prices hitting a new all-time high. "There are growing fears that if we are not in bubble territory yet it won't be long before we are, with the Bank of England raising the alarm about borrowers over-extending themselves."Concerns about the growing gap between London and the rest of the country have been causing intense political debate in recent months.Earlier this month, London mayor Boris Johnson urged developers to sign a concordat making homes available to Londoners before, or at the same time as, they are made available to overseas buyers.The mayor has pledged to double housebuilding in the capital but does not want to deter foreign investors, who have contributed to the economic success of the city. 

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