HOUSE prices in the city rose by 7.3 per cent in the last year, according to new figures.

Data compiled by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that the average homeowner in Worcester saw the value of their property jump by around £50,000 in the last five years.

Local estate agents say the rise is due to a short supply of housing.

Dan Sullivan, assistant sales manager at Nicol and Co in Barbourne Road, said: “We have seen a relative shortage in supply which is why prices have gone up. Demand is good, it’s still there – especially with first time buyers.

"The next to 12 to 18 months should be relatively stable. Brexit is bubbling in the background and what that will do remains to be seen."

The rise in price has also meant first time buyers are spending more on average than they did five years ago.

Figures show that buyers making their first step onto the property ladder in the city spent an average of £182,497 in April - around £43,000 more than they would have spent five years ago.

The average price for a property in the West Midlands increased to £192,090 in the last year - a rise of 5.9 per cent.

Between January and December last year, 1,703 homes were sold in Worcester - 10 per cent fewer than in the previous year.

The data comes from the House Price Index, which the ONS compiles using house sale information from the Land Registry.

Renting in the city has also become more expensive - rising by four per cent in the last year.

Between April 2016 and March 2017 the median monthly rent for all houses in Worcester was £600, according to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and had risen to £625 by March 2018.

The UK currently has the highest number of private renters in the country's history, more than one in five households - with one in four expected to be renting by 2021.

Rents in Worcester have been rising since 2013/14, when the VOA first began publishing this data.

Over the last four years prices have increased on average by around 11.6 per cent.