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ONS: Average UK house price reaches £250,000

With the cost of housing growing across the country and in London in particular, the average house price now stands at £250,000.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the average UK house price has reached the quarter of a million mark.

The latest figures from the department showed that strong growth in UK house prices throughout 2013 pushed the average up to £250,000 in December 2013.

The growth in house prices is marked across the country, with figures rising by 5.7% in England, 4.8% in Northern Ireland and 0.5% in Scotland.

Excluding London – where prices increased at over double the UK average – and the South East, UK house prices increased by 3.1% in the 12 months to December 2013.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices rose by 0.9% between November and December 2013.

The new average house price has tipped thousands more properties into the 3% stamp duty bracket. All properties worth over £125,000 incur stamp duty, which rises from 1% to 3% at £250,000.

According to analysis by accountants Grant Thornton for The Telegraph, rising house prices are set to triple the amount of money taken by The Treasury from residential stamp duty by the end of the decade, when the figure is expected to stand at £14 billion.

Referring to schemes such as Help to Buy and Funding for Lending, Andrew Montlake, of the mortgage broker Coreco, said:

“If the Government really wants to help buyers, reducing the stamp duty burden is a much better way of doing it than any of the schemes it has launched.”

He claimed this would encourage second and third-time buyers to progress up the property ladder, which would in turn free up homes and make buying property easier for first-time buyers.

The high proportion of renters among the UK population has been partially attributed to expensive house prices. A recent Knight Frank report revealed that the proportion of the UK population living in rented accommodation has doubled since 2000.

According to the property group, some 10 million people, a sixth of the UK’s population, now live in housing rented from private landlords.

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