British house prices increased by 0.6% in the 12 months to July, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday, the smallest rise since April 2020, and below the revised 1.9% increase in June.

House prices in London shrank by 0.8%, the ONS said.

Recent measures of Britain's housing market have shown prices falling at the fastest pace since 2009, adding to strain from elevated borrowing costs as the Bank of England battles to tame inflation.

The ONS's gauge of private rents rose by 5.5% in the year to August, the largest increase since data collection started in 2016. (Reporting by Suban Abdulla; editing by William James)