House prices rise by 7.7%

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House prices increased by 7.7% in the year to September, continuing a strong run of growth, according to official figures.

The average UK property value in September was £217,888, marking a 0.2% increase on the previous month, figures produced jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with other government bodies show.

The latest increases mean house prices were around £16,000 higher on average in September this year than they were in September 2015.

And a first-time buyer faces paying 7.5% more for a home than they did a year ago, with the average price paid by this sector standing at £183,385.

In Scotland, house prices generally have increased by 3.4% annually to reach £143,006 on average. In Wales, property values have increased by 4.4% annually, taking the typical house price to £146,388. In Northern Ireland, values have increased by 5.4% annually to reach around £124,093. 

The East of England has seen the strongest price growth over the last year, at 12.1%, followed by London, where values have increased by 10.9%.

The ONS said the 7.7% annual increase in house prices continued "the strong growth seen since the end of 2013".

The local authority showing the largest annual growth in the year to September 2016 was the Orkney Islands, where prices increased by 20.6% to stand at £144,000.

The ONS said low number of sales transactions in some local authorities, such as the Orkney Islands, can lead to volatility.

The lowest annual growth was recorded in the City of Aberdeen, where prices fell by 10.3% to stand at £172,000 on average.

The most expensive borough to live in is Kensington and Chelsea, where the cost of an average house is £1.4 million. Blaenau Gwent in Wales was identified as the cheapest place to buy a property, with the average home there costing £76,000.