HOUSE prices in Cheshire East increased by 1.9% in May, contributing to a 4.8% rise over the last 12 months.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that the average property in the area sold for £222,163 - slightly under the UK average of £226,351.

Across the north west, property prices have risen by 2.9% in the last year, to £157,531. The region underperformed compared to the UK as whole, which saw the average property value increase by 3.0%.

The data comes from the House Price Index, which the ONS compiles using house sale information from the Land Registry, and the equivalent bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The average homeowner in Cheshire East will have seen their property jump in value by around £45,000 in the last five years.

The figures also showed that buyers who made their first step onto the property ladder in Cheshire East in May spent an average of £173,594 - around £35,000 more than it would have cost them five years ago.

Lawrence Bowles, the associate director of the research team at the estate agents Savills said: "The standout performers are the East and West Midlands. We’ve seen a strong performance in both those areas – the West Midlands has slipped to second place, but prices there have still grown 5% in the last year.

"At the other end of the spectrum we have London. We have seen prices eking up very slowly over the last month, but would expect to see a larger seasonal rise around this time of year."

Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, said forecasts suggest the average UK house price could rise to around £285,000 by 2025.

He continued: "In our regional forecasts we predict price falls in London in 2018 and 2019 of 1.7% and 0.2% respectively."

Between April last year and March this year, the most recent 12 months for which sales volume data is available, 7,383 homes were sold in Cheshire East, 3% more than in the previous year.

The highest house prices in the country in May were found in Kensington And Chelsea, where properties sold for an average of £1,326,653 - 17 times the cost of a home in Burnley, where the average property cost just £79,119.