9am Briefing: Average house prices fall 9 per cent

EDINBURGH's average house price fell nine per cent in the last quarter wiping out gains made over the summer.

Prices rallied by 8.7 per cent in the months leading up to August, before tailing off sharply to November leaving the Capital lagging behind the year-on-year national average according to new figures from Lloyds TSB.

The average Capital house price is now 211,555, 3.9 per cent higher than at the depth of the recession in 2009. This compares to an average Scottish national rise of 4.6 per cent year-on-year.

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• A FORMER policeman turned jungle action man is set to return to the force eight years after scooping 1 million on TV reality show Survivor, it was reported today.

Jonny Gibb, 39, has reportedly been accepted back into Lothian and Borders Police after he found the millionaire lifestyle too tame.

Mr Gibb braved shark-infested water, crocodiles and poisonous frogs to win the seven-figure prize, and left CID to enjoy his winnings.

Police reportedly accepted Mr Gibb's reapplication before the force's recruitment freeze.

• UNIVERSITIES will play a key role in supporting the economies of the UK's regions during the economic downturn, according to new research revealed today.

The largest study of the impact of universities found that they now generate 59 billion for the UK economy, putting the higher education sector ahead of the agricultural, advertising, pharmaceutical and postal industries.

The findings of the three-year, 3 million study were discussed by leading figures in education at a two-day conference in Edinburgh which began today.

Key discoveries include that student spending power supports local economies, particularly small businesses, and that a lively population of students makes for safer streets.

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Researchers also found that companies with university collaborations are more likely to innovate new products and benefit from increased productivity.