By Jonathan Davies

The annual growth of house prices continued to slow down in October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said house prices were up 10.4%, compared with October 2013. That compares to a rise of 12.1% in September.

The latest figures mean that the average price for a house in the UK is now £271,000.

Price rises were fastest in England (10.8%), followed by Wales (5.7%), Scotland and Northern Ireland (both 4.9%).

Unsurprisingly, the biggest growth was seen in London, where prices were up 17.2%. The South East of England saw price rises of 11.9%.

ONS figures also showed that first-time buyers saw bigger increases than those moving home. Prices for first-time buyers were up 12% on average, whereas those who already own a house saw prices go up 9.7%.

Alex Gosling, managing director of online estate agents, said:

"Price rises in London are moving from from the berserk to the breathless.

"The market is likely to cool further in the run up to Christmas as many househunters put their search on hold. But the impact of the Chancellor's surprise stamp duty announcement at the start of the month should ensure there is no substantial loss of momentum."

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