HOUSE prices edged up by 0.1 per cent month-on-month in November, according to an index.

Across the UK, the average property value is now £209,988 - 2.5 per cent higher than a year ago, said Nationwide Building Society.

The annual house price growth rate was also 2.5 per cent in October.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said the decision in the Budget to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing a property up to £300,000 - with relief for those purchasing a property up to £500,000 - is likely to have only a modest impact on overall demand.

He said in many regions first-time buyers already paid little or no stamp duty as the price of the typical first-time buyer property was below the general threshold of £125,000 where stamp duty kicks in.

"The potential savings are more substantial for borrowers where house prices are higher, especially in London and the South East," said Mr Gardner.

He added that the focus on boosting housebuilding in the Budget is important, "as a shortage of homes is a key reason why affordability is so stretched in large parts of the country".

He said new-build completions in England over the past year were still around 13 per cent below 2007 levels.

But he added: "The picture improves significantly if we add in new dwellings that have been created by converting larger homes into more units and those created by change of use, such as offices transformed into flats.

"Indeed, on this broader measure, the number of dwellings being created each year is now only three per cent lower than the levels recorded in 2007 (even after accounting for demolitions)."