House prices rising across the UK, says ONS

image captionAn increase in first-time buyers has led to more activity in the housing market

Annual house price growth rose faster than the cost of living in November, even if London is removed from the calculations, official figures show.

Property prices "increased strongly" across parts of the UK, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

House prices were up by 5.4% in the UK in November, compared with a year earlier, and up 11.6% in London.

But, excluding London and the south east of England, prices were up by 3.1%, compared with 2.1% inflation.

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation charts the rising general cost of living.

Regional rises

House price growth has largely be driven by London over the last year, although other areas have started to show accelerating price growth.

The ONS recorded year-on-year increases of 5.6% in England, 5.4% in Wales, 2.5% in Scotland and 3.3% in Northern Ireland.

Regionally, there were rises of 4.5% in the south east of England, 4.4% in the West Midlands, and 4.2% in the north east of England. Every region showed annual house price growth.

"The regions are becoming more buoyant. In the south east we are seeing the flow of those buyers, particularly UK-based buyers, being ousted from the London property market and having to look further out, thus providing a halo effect on prices," said Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris.

The annual rise in house prices in November was very similar to a 5.5% annual increase recorded in October, the ONS said.

Although the annual comparison did not show any acceleration, prices were higher than the previous month.

They rose by 0.5% in November compared with October, with the average home valued at £248,000.

The ONS house price index is based on mortgage completions, and is more comprehensive than figures from the Halifax and Nationwide which are based on their own mortgage data.

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