UK house prices increased 7.7 per cent in the year to November 2015, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.
The figures show the average house price was £288,000 in November.
Over the year to November house price annual inflation was 8.3 per cent in England, 1.3 per cent in Wales, 0.4 per cent in Scotland and 4.6 per cent in Northern Ireland.
English house price increases were driven by the east (10.2 per cent), the southeast (9.8 per cent) and London (9.8 per cent).
Excluding London and the southeast, UK house prices increased by 5.8 per cent in the year to November 2015.
In November 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.4 per cent higher on average than in November 2014.
Legal & General Housing Partnerships director Stephen Smith says: “House prices are continuing to rise well above inflation which is pricing many prospective buyers out of the market. Prices have also risen significantly on an annual basis, exposing the increasing gulf between supply and demand.
“Suitably sized housing needs to become more readily available at both ends of the market, to enable first time buyers to take their first steps onto the housing ladder and help last time buyers to ‘rightsize’, making life better for all.”
New Street Mortgages sales director Adrian Whittaker says: “These figures from the ONS are typical of the strong growth that the housing market experienced last year, as house prices rose well above the level of inflation.
“A supply deficit and rising demand as more people looked to purchase property is squeezing the market, and this puts vendors in a position where they can select the most appropriate buyer.”