House prices in January dip on official figures

 
Ben Southwood
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HOUSE prices fell in January, though not by enough to overturn yearly growth, official statistics revealed yesterday.

The average UK house price was down 0.7 per cent between December and January, after adjusting for seasonal variations, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

But this monthly dip, the biggest since May 2011, was not enough to overturn a year of price growth, with the house price index still up 2.2 per cent compared to January 2012.

“It may seem to many that the housing market is a mixed bag at the moment,” said Ben Thompson at Legal & General.

“Although credit and gross lending remain constrained, there are still plenty of positive indicators. Confidence is slowly but surely returning to the market, helped by both the funding for lending scheme and the increased number of products now available to buyers,” he added.

London once again outpaced the rest of the UK, with house prices up 5.5 per cent over the year – compared to just 2.4 per cent across England as a whole, 0.9 per cent in Wales. Scottish prices dove 0.2 per cent, while prices fell some 5.4 per cent in Northern Ireland.