House prices in the UK continue to rise according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) House Price Index (HPI) for February 2014, released on Tuesday.
The ONS figures show that in the year to February 2014, UK house prices rose by 9.1%, an increase from 6.8% in the year to January 2014 and 3.6% higher than the pre-recession peak in 2008.
In England, annual inflation for house prices increased by 9.7% in the 12 months to February this year, with prices in London showing the highest growth at 17.7%, the South East at 8.0% and the East of England at 7.7%. Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices showed a rise of 5.8% in the year to February 2014. The ONS report showed that price growth in Wales was 5.3%, while in Scotland the annual growth was 2.4% and in Northern Ireland house prices increased by just 2.8%.
According to the ONS HPI, average house prices increased by 1.9% between January and February 2014, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Prices paid by first-time buyers in February this year were 10.5% higher on average when compared to February 2013, while for owner-occupiers, prices increased by 8.6% over the year.
The ONS publishes its HPI statistical bulletin each month. The index includes figures for mix-adjusted average house prices and house price indices for the UK and its component countries and regions, which are calculated using information on mortgage financed transactions from the majority of UK mortgage lenders. The figures are collected through the Regulated Mortgage Survey by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.