House prices in London rose sharply by almost five per cent in the period from April to June this year, according to the Nationwide House Price Index, pushed up by a surge of interest in prime areas from overseas buyers. The national figure for the same period was a rise of 0.9 per cent. According to the Nationwide survey the low value of the pound against the dollar and euro, giving increased purchasing power, and negligible interest rates were major factors in the attraction for overseas buyers. The average house price in London is now