House prices up 18.5% in third quarter

The Land Registry figures show the average property price during the period was £146,150; and the volume of sales rose 6.5% to 328,184.

The annual rise of 18.5% is the highest since the Land Registry began compiling such data in 1996. It is below estimates given by both the Halifax and Nationwide but Land Registry figures are based on completions of house purchases and so typically lag the Nationwide and Halifax data, which are based on mortgage approvals, by two to three months.

House prices are a key measure of confidence in a country where over two-thirds of Britons own their own homes, and most wealth is tied up in bricks and mortar rather than equities.