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UK house prices up by nearly 10% in December: ONS

UK house prices up by nearly 10% in December: ONS

UK house prices increased by 9.8 per cent in the year to December, according to the Office for National Statistics’ UK house price index.

House price annual inflation was 10.2 per cent in England, 5.5 per cent in Scotland, 4 per cent in Wales and 4.9 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in London of 13.3 per cent and to a lesser extent increases in the south east (11.5 per cent) and the east (11.4 per cent).

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On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.7 per cent between November and December.

In the last month of the year, prices paid by first-time buyers were 9.5 per cent higher on average than in December 2013, while for existing owners, prices increased by 9.8 per cent for the same period.

The figures paint a more positive picture than other sources, with Council of Mortgage Lenders data yesterday (17 February) showing overall lending down 5 per cent in the final quarter of 2014 along with year-on-year falls in December.

Last week LSL’s house price index for England and Wales revealed house prices slowing to the smallest yearly improvement witnessed for 10 months in January, at 7.5 per cent annual growth, representing a deceleration from 8.9 per cent in December.

However, on Monday Rightmove’s monthly house price index found that average property prices increased by over £5,000 last month, meaning the average property price in February is £279,004.

peter.walker@ft.com