House prices in England and Wales recovered slightly in January, edging up 0.2 per cent on the previous month. December and November had seen substantial collapses in prices, by 0.8 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively. The 0.2 per cent rise in January still meant that house prices were 0.9 per cent lower than the same time last year, the Land Registry announced yesterday – the first year-on-year decline since October 2009. The average house price in January was £163,177, down 2.3 per cent from a peak of £166,978 in August. House prices are expected to slide downwards during 2011.