"Against the odds, this latest snapshot of the property market looks suspiciously like business as usual."
Average house prices in the UK increased by 1.3% in the year to August, up from 0.8% in July, according to the latest UK HPI from the ONS.
However prices remain below the increases seen this time last year.
By country, Wales saw the strongest annual growth with prices up 4.5%, compared to 3.8% in July. Prices in Scotland increased by 1.6%, up from 1.5% in the year to July, while the average price in England rose by 1.1%, up from 0.5% the previous month.
Northern Ireland house prices increased by 3.5% over the year to Q2 and Northern Ireland remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in, with the average house price at £137,000.
At a regional level, the lowest annual growth was in London where prices fell by 1.4% over the year, followed by the South East where prices fell by 0.6%.
The North East was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 3.3% in the year to August. This was followed by the North West, increasing by 3.1%.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.8% between July and August, compared with a rise of 0.3% during the same period a year earlier. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average prices saw a monthly rise of 0.6%.
Lucy Pendleton, founder and director of James Pendleton estate agents, commented: “The crucial London market’s head is still in a vice but offers are coming forward, which suggests buyers don’t believe this period of consolidation will last too long.
“Growth may be almost static nationwide but it would be even worse were it not for the UK’s army of first-time buyers who are putting a floor under prices with their can-do attitude.
“Despite a nuclear winter’s worth of uncertainty, it’s the younger generation who are still forging ahead as if nothing was wrong. They have the longest time horizon and we know that they have continued to transact in huge numbers lately.
“This young blood continues to support the national market, bolstering the values of lower and mid-tier properties in London where they benefit from enhanced Help to Buy, and where vendors selling above £1m continue to face the fiercest haggling.”
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, added: “Against the odds, this latest snapshot of the property market looks suspiciously like business as usual.
“At a national level, prices are rising at a reasonable clip, even if England’s pace of growth over the past year looks pedestrian compared to the breathless speeds being clocked in Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Nevertheless there has been some real progress in England thanks to strong performance in the North. At 1.1% a year, English house prices are now growing at twice the pace they managed in the 12 months to July.
“Even in London, scene of the biggest and most painful falls in price over the past couple of years, there’s a tentative sense that the worst might just be past.
“While the capital still has the unwanted honour of being the region where prices are falling fastest, prices in the inner boroughs are beginning to settle – and historically, this is often seen as a precursor to a wider recovery across London.
“That sense of being at the eye of the storm has spurred previously hesitant buyers to re-engage in London, and on the front-line we’ve seen a steady stream of strategic buyers rush to press home their advantage and get deals done at favourable values.”