Momentum from this year?s house price growth, coupled with a shortage of availability is set to ensure house prices continue to rise into the spring, says the new report from Nationwide.

The market will primarily be driven by London and the South East, say property economists, while prices in the North, Midlands and Wales will likely stand relatively still. Similarly, Northern Ireland, which recorded unprecedented rises this year, and Scotland, can expect much slower growth for 2007.

?We expect house prices in London to lead the way and increase by 10%, partly reflecting the relative underperformance of the capital in the early part of 2006,? said Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide?s group economist.

?The success of the financial markets has benefited the London economy while investment in infrastructure in the run up to the Olympics and the completion of other developments will also support prices in the capital.?

?The North and Midlands can expect much more modest growth, with prices rising by between 3-4%. However, Northern Ireland and Scotland cannot expect to see house price growth on the scale experienced in 2006… We expect growth of around 9% in Scotland and 12% in Northern Ireland in 2007,? she said.