UK house prices up 2.2pc
The increase reflected growth of 2.4% in England and 0.9% in Wales which were offset by declines of 0.2% in Scotland and 5.4% in Northern Ireland.
Average house prices increased in all of the nine English regions over the year to January 2013 and prices are now at similar levels to what they were in mid-2008.
The largest increase was in London (5.5%) followed by the East (3.0%) and the North East (2.2%).
Ben Thompson, managing director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “It may seem too many that the housing market is a mixed bag at the moment.
“Although credit and gross lending remain constrained, there are still plenty of positive indicators.
“Affordability is likely to improve in the near future and 26% of consumers expect the housing market to be “better” or “much better” in 12 months’ time.”
This is supported by the latest ONS figures, which show firming in house prices across the UK.
Thompson said that confidence was slowly returning to the market which he attributed to both the Funding for Lending Scheme and the increase in the number of products available to buyers.
He added: “Whilst we are on the road to recovery, it is still vital that the importance of the housing market to the economy is recognised in the Chancellor’s Budget.
“Whether Mr Osborne relaxes stamp duty, introduces mortgage insurance or another form of innovation, the recovery in the housing market it still fragile, and needs as much support as possible to ensure it continues.”