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UK house prices soar £17,000 in a year to hit £217,000

The average house in the UK now costs £217,000. Credit: PA

The average house price in the UK has increased by £17,000 in the last year.

The increase means that the average house price in the UK is now £217,000.

Property values also increased by £1,000 on average in the last month, continuing a "strong" run of growth, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

As of July the average house price in England stood at £233,000, while in Wales it was £145,000, in Scotland it was £144,000 and in Northern Ireland it was £123,000.

As the effects of Brexit on the housing market become clearer in the coming months, Thomas Fisher, an economist at PwC, said: "Our own expectation is that the UK housing market will cool not crash."

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Hammond to give first Autumn Statement in November

Philip Hammond. Credit: Reuters

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that he will give his first Autumn Statement on November 23.

It will set out the government's spending and taxation plans, and outline the state of the UK economy.

Hammond said that in the run-up to the Autumn Statement, he will be engaging with British business leaders and employee representatives in a series of industry round tables, meetings and visits.

Number of zero hours contracts increases by fifth

Credit: PA

The number of workers on zero hours contracts has increased by a fifth over the past year, official figures show.

Just over 900,000 people are now employed on the controversial contracts, compared to 747,000 a year ago.

Women make up 55% of those on zero hour contracts, while one in five employed on them is in full-time education.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that these figures show that almost three per cent of the UK workforce is on a zero hours contract.

New TUC analysis has shown that someone employed on a zero hours contract earns on average 50% less than the typical employee. The median hourly wage for zero hours workers is £7.25, while it is £11.05 for others.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady slammed the findings: "It is very easy for politicians and employers to talk about the 'flexibility' these contracts offer, but they are not the ones living at the sharp end of the labour market.

"If you don't know how much work you will have from one day to the next, paying the bills and arranging things like childcare can be a nightmare."

A spokesperson for the Business Department hit back, saying: "Since May last year, the use of exclusivity clauses has been unlawful, meaning that individuals have more control over their lives and can work more hours with another employer if they wish.

"Fewer than 3% of the UK workforce classes itself as being on a zero-hours contract in their main job, with almost 70% of those on this type of contract happy with the number of hours they work."

The contracts - which leave workers unsure of how many hours they will work each week - have been under the spotlight in recent days after Sports Direct said it would change arrangements for some staff.

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