UK house price inflation fell from 12.6% in March to 6.9% in April, said the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) today, reflecting the results from the Halifax and the Nationwide for the same period.

The average house price in April stood at £181,832 down from £183,346 the previous month.

The unusual fall can be attributed to two factors, the ODPM claims. First, the early advent of Easter in 2005 meant the seasonal surge in housing market activity which comes with Easter every year also came early, rather than in April. Secondly there has been a fall in the prices of detached houses ? down 3.5% as opposed to a 0.4% fall for flats ? which also affected the market.

Every country in the UK was affected by the slowdown, with Wales and Scotland least affected, but London registered the slowest rate of price growth, down to 2.7% in April from 9.8% in March.

The highest rates of house price inflation in England remain in the north, with prices in the north east and the north west rising by 12.9% and 11.9 respectively%.

In Scotland the rate of house price inflation fell to 14.3% from 16.1%, also reflecting the early March surge in property sales, found the OPDM.