House prices in England and Wales rose 6.4 per cent in December, according to the latest figures from the Land Registry.
The average property value is now £188,270, according to the data, and monthly house prices rose 1.2 per cent since November 2015.
The Land Registry says that London saw the greatest increase in average property values, with a 12.4 per cent increase over 2015.
The north-east of the country saw the lowest annual price growth, at 0.8 per cent.
House prices in Wales went backwards 0.8 per cent over the year.
The number of completed house sales in England and Wales fell by 8 per cent to 79,960 in October 2015, the most up-to-date figures available.
Legal & General Housing Partnerships director Stephen Smith says: “The shortage of housing supply is confirmed as house prices continued their relentless climb over the New Year.
“This lack of housing supply must be addressed before the situation is allowed to deteriorate further. In order to meet demand, the Government should help existing homeowners to rightsize by committing to building 250,000 homes per year. This will, in turn, create a more fluid housing market and encourage more efficient use of current housing stock.”
New Street Mortgages sales director Adrian Whittaker says: “These unseasonal increases in house prices over the Christmas period characterise a market where limited supply and rising demand is making the race to buy a property more and more competitive.”
OneSavings Bank sales and marketing director John Eastgate says: “Uncertainty around economic growth in 2016 provides a reason for caution. The good news however, is that house building starts appear to be at their highest level since 2007. It is not yet strong enough to counterbalance demand. However if this trend of improvement is maintained, it should lead to a healthier property market for investors and buyers alike.”