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House prices reach a record high, claims Office for National Statistics

House prices reach a record high, claims Office for National Statistics

House prices in England have reached a record high, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Averaging £255,000, they are now 0.9% higher than their previous all-time peak in January 2008.

Average house prices in Wales stand at £160,000, £132,000 in Northern Ireland and £182,000 in Scotland. The average UK house price is £245,000.

Reporting for July, the ONS notes large regional variations. In  London, where the ONS says house prices rose by 9.7% in the 12 months to July, the highest average house price at £438,000. The north-east had the lowest average house price at £144,000.

Excluding London and the south-east, the average UK ‘mix-adjusted’ house price was £192,000 and prices rose by just 0.8% in the year to July, with falls in Scotland, Wales and the north of England.

The ONS figure is once again at odds with the Land Registry, which reported that the average house price for the whole of England and Wales in July was £164,098, including an average of £385,799 in London.

Peter Rollings, of London agent Marsh & Parsons, said huge buyer demand and a shortage of stock is pushing up prices in the capital.

He said: “In the three months to June, we recorded 11% more buyers entering the market in competition for 14% fewer properties.

“Property is changing hands in record time and for close to the asking price, with 98% regularly being achieved.”

According to the ONS, UK house price annual changes by region are:

    •    London + 9.7%
    •    South-East + 2.6%
    •    East Midlands + 2.4%
    •    South-West + 2.1%
    •    West Midlands + 2.0%
    •    Northern Ireland + 1.8%
    •    Eastern England + 1.4%
    •    Yorks and Humber + 0.5%
    •    North-West - 0.7%
    •    Wales - 0.7%
    •    North-East - 1.3%
    •    Scotland - 2.0%