House prices rose by 9.1 per cent in February

The rate at which house prices are rising has continued to increase, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Purchase prices across the UK climbed by 9.1 per cent in the year to February 2014, the ONS has reported, up from an annual rate of 6.8 per cent in January 2014. The average price of a home in Britain, according to the ONS, now stands at £253,000. The figures are based on sales financed by mortgages and completed during the month.

The ONS added that house prices in February were 3.6 per cent higher than the pre-recession peak in 2008. Prices in London rose by their fastest rate for nearly seven years, with the cost of a house in the capital increasing by 17.7 per cent over the year, the highest rate since July 2007. The average price of a home in London has now reached £458,000. The rate of increase in the south east of London was eight per cent. A lack of supply in London and the south is driving prices higher, experts believe.

Industry watchers commented on the rate of increase in London particularly, especially bearing in mind figures showing inflation has fallen to a four-year low…

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