HOUSE prices in the region are expected to be among the highest risers in the country this year.

Prices are expected to rise by up to nine per cent as buyers return to the market place.

Experts believe a combination of low interest rates, attractive mortgages and an increasing number of properties for sale are persuading more people to buy houses.

That is expected to lead to price increases across the country.

Mandy Bradley, director of, said average prices were likely to rise by six per cent by March next year.

She said: "The highest rises over the coming year are expected to be for flats across the North of England, which are forecast to go up between eight and nine per cent.

"House price growth has been minimal since February, but there are now signs of an uplift."

Average prices for flats in the North-East are expected to be more than £120,000 a year from now - more than £10,000 above current valuations.