House prices grew at their fastest pace for 12 months in February, with average values increasing 0.6 per cent - that’s double the rate in the previous month.
Data from LSL Property Services' Your Move brand shows strong performance in the East of England, new peak prices in Merseyside and Birmingham, and a return of growth in high value London property pushed average prices up to £297,832.
Despite this boost, annual house price inflation continued to fall for the 12th consecutive month, dropping to 2.4 per cent - the lowest annual rate since 2013.
Estimated transactions in England and Wales in February, at 62,000, are also down 0.4 per cent on January, but year-to-date remains higher than in 2015 and 2013.
Despite a slowdown, with prices up just 0.1 per cent over the month, the East of England continues to top the table for annual growth, up 5.9 per cent.
The London commuter hotspots of Luton (growing 10.4 per cent in the last year) and Essex (up 6.0 per cent) both set new peak prices in the month.
With the exception of London, southern regions are once again driving price in ation in England and Wales. The South East (up 0.6 per cent monthly and 5.2 per cent annually) and the South West (0.6 per cent and 4.7 per cent up) are both closing the gap on the East.
Merseyside set a new peak price in January, with average prices up 0.5 per cent. Heavy demand for apartments in Liverpool from both young professionals and buy to let investors renting to students has seen prices rise in Merseyside by 5.0 per cent in the last year.
Among the other large cities, only Birmingham in the West Midlands set a new peak in February.