Average price paid for a house by a first-time buyer is £172,000

Second survey suggests that buyer demand hit a three-year high in October

The average price for properties bought by first-time buyers increased by 1.5 per cent over the last 12 months resulting in the average price paid for a house by a first-time buyer was £172,000, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The average price for properties bought by existing owners increased by 1.7 per cent to £268,000.

Meanwhile, the RICS's new figures suggest buyer demand rose at its fastest rate in almost three years during October. Its figures show that the number of homes coming onto the market increased to the highest rate since April 2011 with 12 per cent more respondents reporting rises rather than falls in new seller instructions.

The ONS figures for the year to September 2012 also show that average house prices increased in seven of the nine English regions. The largest increase was in London at 5.2 per cent, followed by the North East at 2.4 per cent and the East of England at 1.9 per cent. Prices were unchanged in both the South West and Yorkshire and The Humber.

Other findings include:

*  UK house prices increased by 1.7 per cent, down from a 1.9 per cent increase in the 12 months to August

* The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 1.8 per cent in England, 0.9 per cent in Scotland and 1.6 per cent in Wales, offset by a decline of 10.1 per cent in Northern Ireland

* Annual house price increases in England were driven by a 5.2 per cent rise in London and a 2.4 per cent increase in the North East - excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 0.8 per cent

* In September 2012, prices paid by first-time buyers were 1.5 per cent higher on average than in September 2011. For existing owners prices increased by 1.7 per cent

Comments