HOUSE prices in Shropshire increased slightly in January, new figures show.

The average Shropshire house price in January was £232,853, Land Registry figures show – a 0.2 per cent increase on December.

The boost contributes to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area achieve eight per cent annual growth.

Owners of semi-detached houses saw the biggest improvement in property prices in Shropshire in January – they increased 0.6 per cent, to £214,237 on average.

Over the last year, prices rose by 7.9 per cent.

First-time buyers in Shropshire spent an average of £187,000 on their property – £13,000 more than a year ago, and £29,000 more than in December 2015.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £262,000 on average in January – 40.1 per cent more than first-time buyers.

Over the month, the picture was better than that across the West Midlands, where prices decreased 2.3 per cent, and Shropshire outperformed the 0.5 per cent drop for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Shropshire rose by £17,000 – putting the area ninth among the West Midlands's 34 local authorities for annual growth.

The best annual growth in the region was in South Staffordshire, where property prices increased on average by 13.8 per cent, to £265,000.

At the other end of the scale, properties in Stratford-on-Avon gained 0.7 per cent in value, giving an average price of £312,000.