HOUSE prices in Winchester and throughout the county have been buoyed by the government's Help to Buy Scheme, new figures suggest.

Data from building societies and estate agents show that average property prices in the district are on the up.

But a leading estate agent said the increased demand will come at a price, and last week Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, warned that sharp price rises in the South risk creating another property bubble. Helen Asteris, a director at Fox & Sons, said: “New buyer registrations are up 41 per cent annually, a clear sign that the Government’s Help to Buy initiative is stimulating demand, but supply levels are not matching this growth and the imbalance is pushing up prices.”

Figures from Fox & Sons show prices in Winchester reached £218,955 in November 2013, up one per cent on the previous year and 17 per cent higher than the average for South Hampshire.

The volume of Fox's sales transactions across the city in November 2013 increased 79 per cent annually and nine per cent on the previous month.

Meanwhile the Nationwide building society reports that mid-Hampshire prices hit an average of £284,104 in the final quarter of 2013 and rose of six per cent year-on-year.

Southampton fared even better, with prices rising by 7 per cent to an average of £232,016.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said: “The price of a typical UK house rose by 2.7 per cent in Q4 2013, after allowing for seasonal effects. Prices were up 7.1 per cent over the year as a whole.

“Amongst the English regions, the South of England and continued to outperform the North.”

Ms Asteris also said that Southampton performed well last year.

“The Southampton market is especially strong with new buyer registrations up 55 per cent annually and property price growth of 11 per cent annually - far outstripping national levels. The growth of the commercial sector and student population means that there is a wide range of amenities and entertainment options, which is facilitating demand.”