Activity levels and prices remained extremely strong in the second quarter of 2006, according to the Land Registry?s latest survey. Average house prices across England and Wales rose by 7.7% – more than double the figure recorded this time last year. Completed sales have also risen; the Land Registry recorded 268,430 sales in the last quarter, a rise of 24% since last year.

The Land Registry?s data is drawn from arithmetic averages, prompting property experts to read them cautiously. ?The upturn in sales in London, where average prices are 50% higher than the national average, will have boosted the figures,? commented property economist Ed Stansfield.

Mr Stansfield believes last week?s interest rate rise will put further pressure on stretched levels of affordability in the market. But he concludes that the Land Registry survey boasts positive results: ?Today?s data confirms that there has been a revival in the housing market,? he said.