January rise in house prices overlays continued market downturn
Latest figures from the Land Registry show that house prices in England and Wales rose by 0.9% in January.
The increase more than offset the 0.4% drop in prices recorded in December, however, a decline in the annual rate of growth continued during the month.
The annual rate fell for the fifth consecutive month, from 6.7% in December to 6.4% in January, taking the average price of a home in England and Wales to £186,045.
Data on completed sales show prices rising in the north-west of England by 2%, while in the east of the country prices remained flat, rising by just 0.2%.
Wales saw a 0.3% decrease and also produced the lowest year-on-year rate of growth, with average prices rising just 1.3% to £140,289.
In London, January annual average inflation dropped back slightly on December, to 13.1%. The average price of a home in the capital now stands at £357,976.
The number of sales recorded in the three months to the end of October confirms a continued slowdown in the market, with an average of 100,648 properties changing hands each month, compared with 117,173 per month across the same period of 2006.