House prices showed average value of £209,054 after 8.2% rise over year


House prices increased by 8.2% in the year to April, continuing a run of "strong growth" seen since the end of 2013, according to a report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The average UK house price in April stood at £209,054, marking a £1,300 jump compared with the previous month.

The figures were contained in a new, revamped house price index which uses data from several sources and replaces reports which had previously been released separately by the ONS and the Land Registry.

The average UK house price in the new report is significantly lower than the typical property value recorded by the ONS for as part of its old index for March, which was put at £292,000.

Average London house prices have also been scaled back in the new index, with the typical price of a London home now put back under the half a million pound mark, at £470,000.

The previous ONS house price index for March had put the price of a London property at £552,000.  

The ONS said the difference is mainly down to a different formula used to calculate prices, which means prices are less likely to be skewed upwards by high-value properties. The new index "is not as sensitive to extreme valued property", it said.

The new index has initially been published as an "experimental official statistic", while it beds in. 

According to the new index, the average house price is £225,000 in England, £139,000 in Wales, £138,000 in Scotland and £118,000 in Northern Ireland.

The new index said London house prices have seen the strongest annual growth of the regions, increasing by 14.5% in the year to April.

On a local authority level, the City of London has seen a huge 27.3% leap over the last year, taking the average property value there to £928,217.

Slough has seen the second fastest house price growth, with a 25.2% annual increase pushing the average property value there to £287,177.

Property experts have said values in Slough are being boosted by the Crossrail railway development as well as the number of technology-related jobs available there. 

The London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the most expensive place to live, with the average home costing £1.3 million, according to the new index.

Burnley in Lancashire is the cheapest place to buy a home, with the average property there costing £73,000.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said a recent stamp duty hike for buy-to-let investors and the looming EU referendum have reined in some housing market activity.

But he said a lack of homes on the market will "likely provide support to house prices".

Sarah Beeny, owner of estate agent Tepilo, said: "Given that the key economic indicators are strong and demand for housing is so high, I think we'll continue to see sustainable and steady growth for the rest of the year."