London house prices up 14% in a year, ONS data shows

House prices across the UK continued to grow in April, with London prices leaping by more than 14 per cent over the last year, according to official figures published on Tuesday.

The average house price in the UK increased 8.2 per cent year on year to £209,054 in April, up 16,000 from the same time in 2015, reports The Independent.

In London, which continued to be far more expensive than anywhere else in the country, the average house price is now more than £470,000, up by nearly £60,000 on April last year.

The figures were calculated by a new, more accurate, index based on data from the Office for National Statistic.

The ONS combined figures from the Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, Land and Property Services and Northern Ireland.

The average house price for England was £225,000, an increase of 9.1 per cent on last year compared, with £139,000 in Wales, £138,000 in Scotland and £118,000 in Northern Ireland.

The April increase came despite clear evidence that housing market activity has slowed markedly following April’s Stamp Duty increase for buy-to-let investors and second home buyers.

The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union following the referendum on June 23 has not dampened demand, the ONS said.

“Despite the short term uncertainty of next week’s EU referendum, regional property markets are receiving a pre-summer swell, giving homebuyers more choices.

“And whilst a lift in prices doesn’t spell completely bad news – marking real demand and strong local housing momentum – it does mean more work is needed for first-time buyers,” said Richard Sexton, director of Chartered Surveyor e.surv.

Stephen Smith, director of Legal & General Housing Partnerships, said the issue of affordability is likely to remain “an insurmountable challenge” for many people.

“Simply ignoring this crisis and burying our heads in the sand is not the answer as it will be future generations that will suffer the most,” Smith said.