HOUSE prices dropped by 1.4% – more than the average for the North West – in South Lakeland in May, new figures show.

But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area grow by 6.8% over the last year.

The average South Lakeland house price in May was £282,960, Land Registry figures show – a 1.4% decrease on April.

Over the month, the picture was different to that across the North West, where prices decreased 0.2%, and South Lakeland was lower than the 1.2% rise for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of a property in South Lakeland rose by £18,000 – putting the area 33rd among the North West’s 39 local authorities with price data for annual growth.

First-time buyers in South Lakeland spent an average of £235,000 on their property – £13,000 more than a year ago, and £44,000 more than in May 2017.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £314,000 on average in May – 33.6% more than first-time buyers.

Owners of flats saw the biggest fall in property prices South Lakeland in May – they dropped 1.9% in price, to £164,154 on average. But over the last year, prices rose by 2.6%.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at financial advice company Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The average house price hit another record high in May, and rose faster than any time since the peak in June last year."