The average UK house price in February was £27,000 higher than a year earlier as it reached a record £277,000, according to official data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said prices increased by 10.9% in February against the same month last year.

This highlighted an acceleration in price growth after the statistics body reported a 10.2% rise in January.

February’s jump in prices was beyond the expectations of experts, with analysts having forecast 10.1%.

Annual change in UK house prices(PA Graphics)

Ceri Lewis, house prices statistician at the ONS, said: “House prices rose again this month, with prices in the UK and England now at record levels.

“The fast rise in UK rental prices also continued, with their highest annual growth in nearly six years.

“All nations and regions saw increases, with London experiencing its strongest rise in a year.”

The ONS said house prices in England grew by 10.7% to an average of £296,000 in February.

Wales reported a rise of 14.2% to £205,000, while prices increased by 11.7% to £181,000 in Scotland, and by 7.9% to £159,000 in Northern Ireland.

Prices across London saw the lowest annual growth in England but picked up slightly to rise by 8.1% as the return of City workers bolstered the capital’s recovery.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: “These numbers show house prices continuing on their apparently inexorable upward path but that’s not quite what’s happening on the ground now.

“Demand is still well ahead of supply but concerns about the rising cost of living, squeezed pay packets and potentially further interest rate rises are reducing price growth and transaction numbers.

“Looking forward, we expect activity to return to more ‘normal’ pre-pandemic conditions as supply picks up as part of the usual spring bounce.”

The ONS also revealed that private rental prices paid by tenants across the UK increased by 2.4% in the year to March, up slightly from 2.3% the previous month.