House prices fall in December
The ODPM House Price Index for 2005 revealed the mix-adjusted house price in the UK during December was £185,788, a minor decrease of £60 from the November total of £185,848.
However, the study suggested house price inflation across the UK rose to 2.9 per cent for December, up from November’s 2.2 per cent.
Terraced house prices across the UK rose by an average of 1.3 per cent, while bungalow and semi-detached property prices fell by 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.
Regionally, mix-adjusted house prices in England stood at £194,569; £127,650 in Scotland. Wales recorded an average house price of £148,471 with Northern Ireland at £137,112. Inflation fell in Wales and Northern Ireland, while the inflation rate in England rose to 2.1 per cent. Inflation rates in Scotland rose by 2.6 per cent to 10.9 per cent between November and December.
The highest inflation rates remain in the North and North West (7.8 per cent) while the West Midlands (1.8 per cent) and the South West (0.8 per cent) all recorded rates of low inflation.
London retained the title of highest average house price (£268,517), while properties in the North East had the lowest, with an average value of £135,968.
The average price paid by first-time buyers across the UK for December was £152,683, £50,000 less than prices paid by former owner-occupiers.
David Stubbs, economist at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: “The August interest rate cut, along with rising employment in 2005, has supported housing market conditions and mortgage activity is currently well above its long-running average.”