UK house prices increased by 5.5% in December 2013 compared with a year earlier, up from 5.4% in November 2013 according to new data today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The average UK house price reached £250,000 in December 2013.
House prices grew by 5.7% in England, 4.8% in Wales, 0.5% in Scotland and 4.8% in Northern Ireland.
House price growth is beginning to increase strongly across parts of the UK, with prices in London increasing at more than double the UK average.
Annual house price increases in England were driven by rises in London (12.3%), the East (4.6%) and the West Midlands (4.3%).
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 3.1% in the 12 months to December 2013.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.9% between November and December 2013.
In December 2013, prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.4% higher on average than in December 2012. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 4.7% for the same period.
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