ONS: House prices at record high

<p>House prices in the UK have hit a new high.</p>

New data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows house prices in the UK are higher now than ever before.

The ONS figures indicate that its house price index stood at 185.8 in August, which is higher than its previous peak of 185.5 in January 2008.

It was revealed by the ONS that the average price of a house or flat in the UK is now £247,000, though values are still falling in Scotland.

Howard Archer, the chief UK economist of IHS Global Insight, downplayed fears the rising cost of property in the UK could be bad for the economy in the long run.

Speaking to BBC News, he said: "We are a long way off from an overall housing market bubble emerging."

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne also recently denied that the UK is heading for a new house prices bubble that could destabilise the economy.

In its recent quarterly report on the economy, the EY Item Club stated that the risk of a new housing price bubble is "extremely slim".

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