House prices increased by 0.6 per cent between December and January but are still 1.8 per cent lower year-on-year, according to the latest house price index from Halifax.
The average UK house price was £160,907 in January, representing a quarterly fall of 0.9 per cent.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “Notwithstanding monthly fluctuations, the average UK house price is very close to where it was eight months’ ago, at around £161,000.
“The continuing very low level of interest rates has helped to support housing demand, resulting in little overall movement in house prices since last spring.”
He adds that a recent improvement in employment trends has also helped to support demand, and if the UK can avoid a prolonged recession house prices should be broadly stable in 2012.