House prices up 12% for first-time buyers
First-time buyers paid 12% more on average for their property than those buying their home in June 2013, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.
The ONS's House Price Index found the average cost of a home for a first-time buyer stood at £204,000 in June - a jump of 12% on the same time last year and larger than the annual increase of 11.3% seen in the year to May 2014.
The figures are the biggest annual rise for first-time buyers since April 2010, when prices increased by 12.4%, raising more fears that potential buyers are increasingly unable to get on the property ladder.
Overall, UK house prices rose by 10.2% in the year to June, slightly lower than the 10.4% they increased by in the year to May - with the average house price now standing at £265,000.
But the ONS statistics indicate that the property market in England is still being driven in large part by the London and South East. Prices in the capital have risen by 19.3% in the year to June, taking the average price of a property in London to £499,000; while the South East region saw growth of 9.7%.
Excluding London and the South East, prices across the UK rose by 6.3%, with the average house price now £201,000. Prices also rose across Wales (3.5%), Scotland (6%) and Northern Ireland (4.9%).
In response to the figures, housing charity Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: "No matter how hard people work or save, millions are being priced out of a home of their own, caught in the 'rent trap' and constantly moving from one expensive property to the next.
"The only solution is for politicians to roll up their sleeves and build the affordable homes we so desperately need."