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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 11:51 GMT
House price inflation speeds up
People looking in an estate agents' window
Prices are picking up
UK house prices are accelerating, according to figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

Its latest monthly survey of new mortgage loans shows that prices rose by 4.3% in the year to January.

That was higher than the 2.9% rate recorded in December and is the highest since the middle of last year.

The ODPM's survey, of 45,000 new mortgages, echoes recent studies by the Halifax and Nationwide which have reported that prices are picking up.

The ODPM says prices have now risen by 3.1% in the past three months, pushing the average house price up to 188,191.

Regional trends

The ODPM highlighted that house price inflation in January was positive in all regions of the country, the first time this has happened since July last year.

UK: 4.3%
England: 3.7%
Wales: 6.4%
Scotland: 10.5%
Northern Ireland: 12.5%
English regions:
North East: 7.6%
North West: 4.4%
Yorks & Humber: 9.3%
East Midlands: 0.8%
West Midlands: 4.8%
East: 2.3%
London: 5.3%
South East: 2.4%
South West: 0.7%
Source: ODPM

Even so, the ODPM found that price increases were not uniform across the country.

In England, prices rose by 2.1% in the year to December, but by 3.7% in the year to January .

Wales also saw an increase, with inflation hitting 6.4% in January, up from 5.1% the previous month.

But in Scotland house price inflation dipped to 10.5% from 10.9% in December, while in Northern Ireland the level fell from 12.9% to 12.5% in January.

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