UK house prices
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices only increased by 7.9% in the year to July.Reuters

House prices in the UK rose by 11.7% in the year to July, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The price surge was driven by yet another exponential spurt in London, where house prices rose by 19.1% in the year to July. Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices were up by 7.9%. From June to July, they have risen by 1.6% across the country.

In Scotland, which is about to go to the polls to decide whether it remains part of the UK, house prices rose by 7.6% over the course of the year, just ahead of Wales (7.4%) and well ahead of Northern Ireland (4.5%). Growth in England, however, dwarfed its union counterparts, coming in at 12%.

First time buyers paid 13.5% more for their properties, with existing owners experiencing price hikes of 10.9%.

The news comes on the heels of a report from Rightmove which showed that the UK housing market had emerged from its seasonal summer lull more quickly than usual, ending speculation that the recent shoring up of mortgage lending rooms would damage the market.

Also this week, the National Housing Federation released a study showing that the average deposit to buy a home is around 10 times higher than it was in the 1980s. It showed that the average first-time buyer needs a deposit of £30,000 these days and to borrow 3.4 times their national income. In 1979, Britons had to borrow 1.7 times their national income.

There has also been a sharp rise in buy-to-let lending, with investors rushing to purchase houses which are in short supply. Council of Mortgage Lenders statistics show that buy-to-let lending hit £2.4bn in July, a 9% increase on June and a staggering 26% rise from July last year.