HOUSE prices in Monmouthshire reached a record high last month, according to the latest data from Principality, Wales' largest building society.

A new report reveals that house prices in the county were 6.1 per cent higher in the months October to December 2018 than they had been 12 months earlier.

The average house price in Monmouthshire is now estimated to be £290,437.

The county was one of three local authorities in Wales to hit new heights in average property values, along with Newport (£199,046) and Caerphilly (£155,672).

Despite the record high, houses price rises in Monmouthshire were the most modest of the five local authorities making up the Gwent region.

In Torfaen, an average house price showed an annual increase of 8.7 per cent. In Caerphilly, the average rise was by 7.5 per cent, and in Blaenau Gwent, it was 7.2 per cent. Newport's house prices rose by 6.5 per cent, the Principality study found.

The average house price across the whole of Wales reached a new peak in December 2018 at £186,699, some £2,000 higher than the previous peak in September 2018.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Tom Denman, chief financial officer at Principality, said: “There are a number of possible reasons why Welsh house prices are at an all-time high – interest rates are currently close to their historic low, the number of people in work is near an all-time high, [and] average weekly earnings have risen above the rate of inflation.

“Welsh government housing schemes have also helped would-be property owners onto, and up, the housing ladder.

“We know from a recent survey we did that a quarter of people in Wales admit Brexit is affecting whether they buy or sell a home.

“Brexit has undoubtedly affected the market but so far hasn’t dampened the market in Wales as much as England, with the number of property sales estimated to be on a par with last year.

“Affordability of homes in the country compared to areas of south-west England is likely to have helped growth, along with supply and demand.”

Only three local authorities in Wales – Denbighshire, Neath & Port Talbot, and Pembrokeshire – did not experience an annual rise in house prices last year.