There was a small recovery in house prices during the latter part of last year, according to figures released today by Halifax.
Prices increased by 1 per cent in December and by 2.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2005.
The House Price Index also revealed that despite the recovery since last summer, the annual percentage increase in house prices nationally in 2005, at 5.1 per cent, was the smallest for 10 years and significantly below the long-term annual average of 8 per cent.
The annual rate of house price inflation slowed in all regions in 2005 with the exception of London where prices rose by 6.7 per cent compared with a 3.9 per cent rise in 2004.
House prices increased by less than 10 per cent in all nine English regions for the first time since 1998.
Halifax predicts that the housing market will be flat in 2006. UK house prices are forecast to rise by 3 per cent, broadly in line with the predicted rise in retail price inflation.