House prices continue to rise with UK average home now at £219,000, figures show

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The average UK house price increased by 8.4% in the 12 months to August, continuing a strong run of growth, according to an official report.

Property value growth accelerated from an 8% annual increase recorded in July, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.

The average price of a home in August was £219,000, up by 1.3% on the previous month.

The ONS said the latest figures continued "the strong growth seen since the end of 2013".

The main contribution to the increase in UK house prices came from England, where house prices increased by 9.2% over the year to August 2016, taking the average property value in England to £236,000.

Wales saw house prices increase by 2.7% over the previous 12 months, to stand at £145,000. In Scotland, the average price increased by 4.3% over the year to £145,000. The average price in Northern Ireland stood at £123,000, following an annual increase of 7.8%.

In England, London continues to be the area with the highest average house price at £489,000, while the lowest average price continues to be in the North East at £127,000.

The East of England showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 13.3% in the year to August 2016.

Growth in the South East was second highest at 12.2%, followed by London at 12.1%.

In the North East of England, by contrast, house prices have increased by 3% over the last year.

The figures also show that a first-time buyer paid 8.2% more for a property in August that they would have done typically a year earlier. The average price paid for a home by a first-time buyer is now around £184,000. 

Commenting on the report, TV property expert Sarah Beeny, owner of estate agent Tepilo, said: "Despite demand from certain types of buyer, such as buy-to-let landlords, falling - there's still more demand than supply overall in the market, which will ensure the property market remains buoyant and prices continue on an upward trend."

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said the "real test" for the market following the vote to leave the EU will come over the next few months.

He said: "The market is proving to be more resilient than many expected although prices are not rising as quickly as in the past.

"We are seeing that the reduction in activity is being seized upon by buyers to negotiate the best possible terms although they are not being met with the same level of enthusiasm from sellers."