House prices up 5.1% in July, says ONS

UK house prices have shot up by 5.1 per cent over the past year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The average house price is now £226,185, up 1.1 per cent over the past month alone, according to the ONS.

The East Midlands saw the fastest rate of annual growth, with house prices in the region up 7.5 per cent over the past year. The capital saw the slowest growth, with prices in London just 2.8 per cent ahead of a year ago.

Wales and the South East were the only regions to see house prices contract over the past month, down 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Property transactions in July were 8.3 per cent ahead of the same month last year.

Former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf says: “It is shortage of supply, historically low mortgage rate and relatively low unemployment which are underpinning prices, rather than strong buyer demand.”

Legal and General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says while rising prices might be good news for some, it means first-time buyers face a tougher challenge to get a foot on the property ladder.

He says: “It is essential that the Government doesn’t lose focus on addressing the housing crisis and makes good on its promise to build the thousands of new, affordable homes that people desperately need.”

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