UK Housing
The average price rose by 5.1% to £179,817 Reuters

The average price of a home in England and Wales has almost reached its 2007 peak, according to official government figures.

Land Registry data showed an annual increase in house prices of 5.1% to take the average value to £179,817. This is less than £2,000 from the £181,014 peak recorded in November 2007.

Semi-detached homes were the main catalyst in the house price growth, rising by 5.6% over the course of the year. Flats were the second biggest riser, increasing by 5.4%.

London recorded the biggest increases: up by 10.1% over the previous 12 months; Wales by contrast saw an increase of just 0.3%.

Howard Archer, IHS Global's chief UK and European economist, said the increases "may well have been influenced by heightened uncertainty ahead of the general election, so a crucial factor in the outlook for house prices is will there be a marked increase in the number of properties coming on to the market now that the election has produced a decisive result?"