The growth in the cost of housing in the UK slowed in the year to February according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS revealed that UK house prices increased by 7.6% in the year to February 2016, down from 7.9% in the year to January 2016.
The annual inflation of house prices was highest in England in 8.2%, with Wales 2.8% and Northern Ireland at 2.4%. Scotland saw a decrease of 0.8%.
The biggest annual increase was seen in the South East at 11.4%, followed by the East (10.3%). The North East remains the region with lowest annual growth with price increasing 1.4% in the year to February.
With London and the South East excluded, UK house prices increased by 5% over the year to February 2016, down from 5.1% in the year to January.
The ONS figures also reveal that the average house price in the East and South West are at record levels. The North East remains the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak.
The average UK mix-adjusted house price in February 2016 was £298,000 in England, £173,000 in Wales, 189,000 in Scotland and £157,000 in Northern Ireland.
The average house price in London in February was £524,000, the highest amongst England’s region. The North East had the lowest average house price at £158,000.
The average UK mix-adjusted house price was £216,000 if London and the South East were excluded.
First-time buyers saw the average price they paid for properties increase by 8% in the year to February. This was up on the year to January’s figure of 7.7%. The average price paid by a first-time buyer was £214,000.
Existing homeowners buying property on average paid £336,000. This was increase by 7.4% in the year to February, down from the year to January’s figure of 8%.