Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

First-time home buyers face price rise, DCLG says

Sale signs
Prices have been affected by a series of factors in recent months

First-time buyers faced house prices that were 8.9% higher in January than a year earlier, government figures show.

The average price paid by those buying their first UK home was £149,924 in January, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said.

This rose by 0.2% compared with December and was part of a general rise in UK house prices.

Mortgage lenders are still being fussy over custom, including requiring a significant deposit from new borrowers.

The Financial Services Authority said that the proportion of new lending at a loan-to-value of more than 90% accounted for less than 2% of new advances in the final three months of 2009.

Values rise

The DCLG said that average UK house prices were 2.2% higher in January than in December, with the typical home costing £207,159. This was 6.2% up on January 2009, the department said.

The less volatile three-month on three-month measure showed that prices rose by 4.8%.

The biggest rises have been in Scotland, but prices continued to fall in Northern Ireland.

On a regional level in England, prices fell by 1.5% in the North East, but rose by 8.1% in the South East.

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