House price rises levelling off, ONS figures show

house for sale in London Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Prices in London are still rising by 19.6%, according to the ONS

There is further evidence that house prices rises are starting to level off, following the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In the year to August 2014, the ONS said house prices across the UK rose by 11.7% - the same figure as in July.

However, the average price of a house or flat hit another record level, of £274,000.

London still saw the sharpest increase, up 19.6%, followed by the South East, where prices rose by 12.3%.

Excluding those areas, prices rose by 7.8%.

Prices by region
England 12.2%
Scotland 6.7%
Wales 4.7%
Northern Ireland 9.6%
North East 3.8%
North West 5.6%
Yorks and Humber 6.3%
East Midlands 7.8%
West Midlands 5.8%
East 11.6%
London 19.6%
South East 12.3%
South West 9.3%
Source: ONS prices to August 2014

More recent data from the Halifax and Nationwide has suggested that house price inflation has begun to moderate.

The Halifax said inflation fell in September to 9.6%, while the Nationwide put the figure at 9.4%.

The ONS data is based on mortgage completions, rather than mortgage approvals, so is a "lagging" indicator.

Some analysts said the latest figures were evidence that house prices remain robust.

However, Howard Archer, chief UK and UK economist with IHS Global Insight, said the slowdown was likely to continue.

"We maintain the view that - with housing market activity off its early-2014 highs - house prices are likely to rise at a more retrained restrained rate overall through the coming months," he said.

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