Country houses for sale

Spain sees fastest price growth

Rises in house prices in the UK have outperformed every country in the eurozone except Spain over the past five years, according to new research by Halifax.

Since 2001, house prices in the UK have risen 90%, compared with a 40% increase for the eurozone as a whole over the same period. Spain is the only country with higher house price growth than the UK in the past five years, with an increase of 100%.

In the past year, Belgium experienced the largest rise in house prices of 18%, followed by France at 15% and Spain at 14%. The UK had the fourth-largest increase of 13%.

Of the 12 eurozone members included in this analysis, Germany is the only country to have experienced a fall in house prices, with a fall of 5% over the past five years.

The average price in Spain stood at £150,200 at the end of 2006, less than the average of £187,100 in the UK. The average house price in Ireland (£209,300) and the Netherlands (£190,900) is higher than in the UK. Finland has the cheapest average house price of the eurozone at £92,300.

Tim Crawford, group economist at Halifax, said: ?UK house prices have risen more rapidly than in its eurozone neighbours over the past five years. House price growth, however, has slowed in the past couple of years compared with the likes of Belgium and France recording bigger increases. Two of the largest economies surveyed ? the US and Germany ? are the only ones to have seen a fall in house prices.?