HOMEOWNERS received more Christmas cheer as official figures revealed house prices have surged to record highs
Prices hit £287,000 across the UK and reached the £300,000 mark in England for the first time on average in October.
London and the south-east are reaping the best rewards from the bonanza.
Across the UK, typical property values climbed by £1,000 month on month, from a previous record of £286,000 in September, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
UK property values were 7% higher than a year earlier, accelerating from annual growth of 6.1% in September.
In England, average house prices also edged up by £1,000 on the previous month – to stand at a new record high of £300,000.
House prices in England were 7.4% higher than a year earlier, with the growth being driven by the East and the South East, which saw property values increase by 10.4% and 9.5% respectively.
In London, the average house price is now £531,000, after increasing by 7.7% over the last year.
House prices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all sat below their all-time highs in October.
In Wales, property values edged up by 1% year on year to reach £174,000 on average.
The index for Wales is just 0.3% below the record level seen in January.
In Scotland, house prices increased by 0.9% annually to reach £196,000 typically. House prices in Scotland are around 5% below their record levels seen in March this year.
Northern Ireland has seen house prices leap by 10.3% over the last year, which is similar to the level of house price growth seen in the East of England.
But at £158,000 on average, house prices in Northern Ireland are still 41% below their all-time peak, reached in August 2007.