The rate of increase in the UK house prices has slowed down in February, but the disparity in price growth in different regions of the country widened, showed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
According to the report, home prices across the country rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in February, compared to a 2.2 percent annual increase in January. The UK average price for the month was £233,000 ($204,000, €156,000).
On a seasonally adjusted basis, house prices were unchanged between January and February.
Home prices in London, where property is considered to be an attractive investment especially by overseas investors, rose 5.9 percent in the month to £395,000 on average, the highest in the country.
Average house prices recorded an increase in eight of the nine English regions in February, year-over-year. Apart from London, the North East and the South East regions recorded an increase of 2.4 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. Home prices rose 1.3 percent in Yorks & The Humber.
Prices were up 2.1 percent in England and 4.1 percent in Wales, while they were down 1.2 percent in Scotland and 7.7 percent in Northern Ireland. Average mix-adjusted house prices in February stood at £242,000 in England, £160,000 in Wales, £125,000 in Northern Ireland and £177,000 in Scotland.
Prices for first-time buyers were up 1.6 percent on-year in February, while prices for existing home-owners increased 2.1 percent. The Council of Mortgage Lenders previously revealed that the number of first-time buyers increased by three percent in February, marking the best start to a year since 2008.
Prices paid for new homes declined by 0.3 percent on average, while prices paid for pre-owned homes increased by 2.1 percent on average.
Ernst and Young Item Club has earlier projected that house prices in the UK would remain subdued for the next two years. According to the outlook, prices are expected to be up by 2.1 percent in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015.