HOUSE prices have increased as property values rise across most parts of the UK, a report has said.
Prices lifted by eight per cent in the 12 months to March, with the typical value standing at £252,000,
However, the figure, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is slightly down from a peak of £253,000 recorded in February.
The 0.5 per cent fall in house prices between February and March marks the first time property values have fallen month-on-month in just over a year.
The figures were released amid mounting concerns about the rapid pace of house price growth in parts of the UK.
First-time buyers now face having to pay ten per cent more than they did a year ago to get on the property ladder, the figures said, with the average price of a starter home hitting £193,000 in March.
The ONS said annual house price rises in England are being driven by a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in London, a 6.6 per cent rise in the East and a 6.1 per cent lift in the South-East.
The North-West saw the slowest price growth, with a 3.1 per cent increase taking average prices to £165,000.