The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that UK house prices increased by 7.7% in the year to November 2015, up from 7.0% in the year to October 2015.
House price annual inflation was 8.3% in England, 1.3% in Wales, 0.4% in Scotland and 4.6% in Northern Ireland.
The ONS added that annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in the East (10.2%), the South East (9.8%) and London (9.8%).
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.8% in the 12 months to November 2015.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.8% between October and November 2015.
Meanwhile, in November 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.4% higher on average than in November 2014.
For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 7.8% for the same period.
Adrian Whittaker, sales director at New Street Mortgages, said: “These figures from the ONS are typical of the strong growth that the housing market experienced last year, as house prices rose well above the level of inflation. A supply deficit and rising demand as more people looked to purchase property is squeezing the market, and this puts vendors in a position where they can select the most appropriate buyer.
“Securing a mortgage offer quickly can now make all the difference in getting the keys to your dream home so, to meet this rising competition for property, advisers must ensure that they choose a lender with the right systems in place to offer their customers a fast and consistent lending process.”