In the 12 months to May 2013 UK house prices increased by 2.9%, up from a 2.6% increase in the 12 months to April 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported.
House price growth remains stable across most of the UK, although prices in London are increasing faster than the UK average.
The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 3.1% in England, 0.8% in Scotland, 0.6% in Wales and 1.9% in Northern Ireland.
May 2013 is the first month that Northern Ireland house prices have grown year-on-year since February 2008.
Annual house price increases in England were driven by a 6.6% rise in London and a 2.7% increase in both the North West and the West Midlands.
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 1.9% in the 12 months to May 2013. On a seasonally adjusted basis, UK house prices increased by 0.3% between April and May 2013.
In May 2013, prices paid by first-time buyers were 4.1% higher on average than in May 2012. For owner-occupiers (existing owners) prices increased by 2.5% for the same period.