THE annual rate of house price inflation fell last month for the first time in over a year.
The FT House Price Index revealed the annual rate of change in England and Wales dropped to 6.8% in December, down from 7.4% in November.
In so doing it broke an upward trend which started in October, 2005, when house price inflation was at 3.3%.
The index showed a 0.6% monthly rise in house prices during December.
It pushed the average cost of a home in England and Wales up to £211,607. This is £13,527 more than at the same time last year.
The monthly house price rise in December was slightly up on the previous month.
But with increases in the last five months all showing gains of between 0.5% to 0.7%, the figures indicate the market is growing at a fairly regular month- on-month rate.
Peter Williams, chairman of Acadametrics - who compile the index - said: "Monthly house price growth appears to have now reached a plateau.
"Even London saw a slowing in monthly growth, though London supported by the South- East is still driving the market."
He added: "But the pick-up in new supply in the Midlands and the North, combined with higher mortgage interest rates, should result in a continued easing of market conditions in those regions."