House prices climb to their highest ever, claims ONS

House prices climb to their highest ever, claims ONS

House prices rose across much of the UK during August breaking previous records, the Office for National Statistics has claimed.

The average UK house price was £247,000. However, taking London and the south-east out of the equation, it stood at £193,000.

Across England, the average house price was £256,000. In Wales it was £164,000; in Northern Ireland £130,000; and in Scotland – the only place for house prices to fall, albeit slightly –  £185,000.

According to the ONS, annual house price inflation stood at 8.7% in London, 3.8% in the east midlands, and 3.5% in the west midlands. Across the UK as a whole, annual house price inflation was 3.8%, and across England it was 4.1%.

The ONS’s reading of the house market continues to be sharply at odds with that of the Land Registry.

For August, the Land Registry said average house prices across England and Wales stood at £164,654, up 1.3% on the year before. Even the bullish estate agency haart (see today's story) does not put house prices up at the levels claimed by the ONS, putting them some £45,000 lower at £202,580.

However, today's Times newspaper seized on the ONS claims to warn on a house price bubble, and Shelter used the ONS figures to warn that house prices must be stabilised. See next story.