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House prices in the West Midlands rose the fastest in the United Kingdom compared with a year ago, according to official figures.

The latest increase was the smallest since August 2013, when prices grew 3 percent.

"These figures show that the cost of living squeeze is not yet a thing of the past", said Tej Parikh, an economist at the Institute of Directors, an employers group, noting high oil prices and a rise in utility bills.

The Home Price Index rose 0.9% for the period May-June 2018 in comparison with April-May 2018, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today, wiping out the falls of the past year.

Consumer inflation was at 4.17 per cent in July, government data showed on Monday.

"On the other hand, there was a drop in prices for women's clothing and footwear, and some financial services".

England as a whole saw prices rise 2.7% but here the West Midlands (up 5.8%) and East Midlands (up 4.1%) witnessed the biggest rises.

Average property values increased by 3%, down from 3.5% in May.

CPIH, the ONS' preferred method of measuring inflation was at 2.3% in July, unchanged from the previous month. The average price of a home sold in Israel in the second quarter was NIS 1.53 million.

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'The big question is what happens to prices when the property market's own version of Quantitative Easing is taken away?'

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell to 3.2pc, down from 3.4pc in June, and lower than the 3.5pc economists were expecting.

London, it noted, has shown a general slowdown in its annual growth rate since mid-2016.

House prices in London have fallen at their fastest rate since 2009 amid growing signs Britain's booming property market is finally cooling down.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, added: "Although a little out of date, these numbers represent the most comprehensive survey of United Kingdom house prices".

There has been a rise in time taken to complete a property sale from 16 weeks previous year to 18 weeks on average. The number of house sales is a bit lower than it was at the same time previous year.

Andy Soloman, Yomdel, says: "While the rate of annual growth remains at a low there are further signs of house price growth stability with another monthly uplift, signs that should help bring a renewed confidence to the wider economy in time".

'However, mortgage approvals are starting to turn up again, indicating that buyer numbers are likely to recover by the end of the year.

The rise in inflation follows a decision by the Bank of England to raise interest rates to the highest level since 2009, putting more pressure on the cost of borrowing.