The annual rate of house price growth rose for the first time in six months during September as the market continued to show signs of strengthening, Government figures revealed yesterday.
Annual house price inflation for the year to the end of September reached 3.3 per cent, slightly higher than the
2.8 per cent it had been running at during the 12 months to the end of August, according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
It is the first time the annual rate of growth has risen since March, when it reached 12.6 per cent, but since then it had been falling steadily.
During September, prices rose by 0.3 per cent, pushing the average cost of a home in the UK up to £186,723. The ODPM said the boost in average house prices was mainly due to a
1.6 per cent increase in the cost of a detached home and a 0.7 per cent rise in the average price of a bungalow during the month.
The figures come as property website Rightmove said annual house price inflation had soared ahead to four per cent from just 1.5 per cent during the four weeks to November 12.
At the same time the cost of a home in England and Wales rose for the second month in a row, increasing by 0.8 per cent or £1,500 to leave the average property costing just under £200,000.
The group said the figures showed the market was recovering, adding that people's confidence had returned due to a combination of lower interest rates and sustainable prices.
The ODPM figures showed annual house price inflation rising in seven of the 12 economic regions across the UK.
The annual rate of growth remains highest in Northern Ireland, where it surged ahead to 16.7 per cent, and Scotland at 10.1 per cent, although it was slightly down from the 11.2 per cent reported during August.
In England price gains continued to be strongest in northern regions - at 7.9 per cent in the North West and 7.1 per cent in Yorkshire and Humberside.
In the South West prices have fallen by an average of 0.6 per cent during the 12 months to the end of September, but in London annual growth improved from 0.8 per cent the previous month to 1.9 per cent.
The West Midlands saw house price inflation slump 3.4 per cent.
The cost of the average property remains highest in London at £269,927 and the South East at £236,678, while it is cheapest in Scotland and the North East at £ 128,477 and £132,678 respectively.
The West Midlands figure was £164,956, down from £166,008 in August.
Average price paid by first time buyers across the whole of the UK was £152,643 in September, while the average price paid by former owner occupiers was £202,130.