House prices drop in South West, figures show
Official figures show the variable state of the property market as house prices in the South West showed a fall.
Nationally, house prices rose in England in the year to August, but this was largely driven by increases in London and the South East.
Prices also rose in Scotland and Wales but showed their sharpest fall in Northern Ireland in more than a year.
Across the UK, prices increased by 1.8 per cent year-on-year in August to average £234,000, with annual rises of 2.1 per cent in England to typically reach £242,000, 0.5 per cent in Scotland to average £184,000 and 1.4 per cent in Wales to reach £161,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
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But prices in Northern Ireland continued to plummet in a long-running trend, with a 12.8 per cent annual decrease recorded, taking prices to £129,000 on average, the biggest percentage drop it has seen since May last year.
Such is the relative strength of London and the South East in holding the market up, house prices would have remained unchanged across the UK if these regions were not included in the figures, the ONS report showed.
Across the UK, prices have risen year-on-year for five months in a row, and they also recorded a small 0.1 per cent increase month-on-month, following a flat July.
The annual price increase in England was driven by a 6.3 per cent rise in London and increases of 2.4 per cent in the South East and 1.2 per cent in the West Midlands.
The South West saw an annual fall of 0.7 per cent, while the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber recorded decreases of 0.5 per cent.