London and the South East drove growth in house prices, joined by the East of England with annual increases of 13%, 12.2% and 12.1% respectively, the Office of National Statistics’ data revealed.
Without London and the South East’s price rises inflating UK averages, house price growth nationwide would fall to just below 6%.
Elsewhere in the UK, housing markets fared less well. Scotland’s house prices fell by 6.1% in the year to March while the Welsh market struggled to remain positive with just over 2% growth.
Northern Ireland’s property owners were in a left in a much stronger position, however, after homes rose in value by 6.4%.
Andrew McPhillips, Yorkshire Building Society’s chief economist, said while the Stamp Duty rush contributed to higher house price growth in the first quarter of the year the main catalyst for growth in the long-term was the ongoing lack of supply compared to high owner-occupier demand.