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House prices up 10.2%

House prices rose by 10.2 per cent in June, down from 10.4 per cent the previous month.The latest data from the Office for National Statistics reveals residential property prices have been increasing across most parts of the UK and the average cost of a home is now £265,000.London witnessed the sharpest hike in prices, where they grew by 19.3 per cent and took the average cost of a property to just under half a million pounds, at £499,000. In contrast, the average figure for the north-east was just £150,000.In the south-east, an increase of 9.7 per cent was recorded, while in the east here was another strong gain of 7.9 per cent.Prices paid by first time buyers rose by 12 per cent on June 2013, with those for owner-occupiers increasing by 9.5 per cent.Campbell Robb, chief executive for housing charity Shelter, described the news as "yet another blow for people across the country desperate to put down roots and create a stable home"."No matter how hard people work or save, millions are being priced out of a home of their own, caught in the 'rent trap' and constantly moving from one expensive property to the next," he added.However, housing minister Brandon Lewis claimed the government is helping to stimulate construction, pointing out that the rate of housebuilding has reached its highest level since 2007.Earlier this month, the coalition pledged investment of £850 million in infrastructure projects that will support up to 200,000 new homes.Some 36 sites are to receive a share of the funding, which will help to create essential facilities such as roads, schools and parks to support new homes.A total of £1 billion has been set aside for the large-scale infrastructure programme, along with £12.5 million of capacity funding and expert planning and technical support for the sites. 

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