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Dumfries And Galloway Show Shades Of Cornwall

What a difference 10 years makes. A decade ago no UK county had an average house price above 100,000.

Back in 1996, the counties of Cornwall and Dumfries and Galloway shared many similarities. Both had average property prices of just over 50,000, were situated on the south west coast of their respective countries, and derived their principal income from primary industries including agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Ten years on house prices have soared in Cornwall. The average property has almost quadrupled in value between 1996 and 2006, from 53,081 to 208,683. In contrast, house prices in Dumfries and Galloway have just more than doubled during the past 10 years, with the average house price now at 120,871.

No other county in the UK has shown such a dramatic increase in property prices as Cornwall during the past 10 years. However, Dumfries and Galloway may now be starting to catch up. Last month CKD Galbraith, sold a traditional stone farmhouse for 440,000 - more than four times its purchase price of 105,000 in 2000.

Simon Brown, of CKD Galbraith, says: "This sale is a great success story, increasing in value more than double the local average in six years.

"One of the reasons house prices escalated in Cornwall was due to an influx of 80,000 second-home buyers. Situated on the coast, with a low population density per square mile, the area has proved popular with those looking for investment properties and future retirement homes.

"Investors may have already recognised the potential of buying property in Dumfries and Galloway. In the last year property prices in the county have risen by 14%, and the market remains strong with an increase of 6.6% in the last quarter.

"This is higher than the average for Scotland which was 11.1% for the past year and 5% in the last quarter. However, the good news is that even with these increases, the area still provides opportunities for all budgets."