House prices fell 0.9 per cent on the month in December, mortgage lender Halifax said, confounding expectations of a modest pick-up.
House prices fell 1.3 per cent in the three months to December versus a year ago, a bigger decline than the 0.8 per cent drop forecast by analysts.
The average price of a home stood at £160,063.
"If the UK can avoid recession, we expect broad stability in house prices in 2012," said Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis, adding that Britain's economic prospects largely depended on events in the Eurozone.
"In addition, the extent to which households choose to reduce their debts will also affect growth. As a result, the outlook for house prices is also uncertain."