The average UK house price rose 1.9 per cent over the 12 months to February, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics. The average house price was £233,000 in February, down 2.1 per cent from £238,000 in January. Excluding London and the South East, the average house price in February was £186,000, down from £189,000 in January. On a yearly basis, house prices outside of London and the South East are 1.6 per cent higher than in February 2012, at £183,000.The average house price in England in February was £242,000, down 2 per cent from £247,000 in January but up 3.4 per cent from £234,000 in February 2012. House prices rose 5.2 per cent from £152,000 in February 2012 to £160,000 in February this year, while prices were relatively stagnant in the year to February 2013, hovering around £177,000 to £178,000. Prices in Northern Ireland fell 8.6 per cent in the 12 month to February. The average price for properties bought by first-time buyers increased by 1.6 per cent to £173,000 in the 12 months to February 2013. The average price for properties bought by exiting owners increase by 2.1 per cent to £269,000 in the 12 months to February.