Price growth remained firm in September, according to the latest data from the Department for Community and Local Government (DCLG) report. The department found that annual inflation rose to 8%, up from 7.4% in August, the fastest rate of annual house price inflation in 18 months.

And these fast rate rises are not just confined to London and the South East; house prices shot up all over the country, the data says. However, a slowdown is anticipated as November’s interest rate rise, plus another expected in the New Year, temper the market.

Property economist Kelvin Davidson commented: ‘With affordability already stretched, we expect housing market activity levels and price pressures to cool in early 2007.’