House prices remained solid at the end of last year, according to new figures from the DCLG. In December house prices rose by 0.9% across the country, the largest gain in December since 2003. Property experts are encouraged by the results, particularly since house prices fell by 0.1% in December 2005.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, the North East and London all experienced house price gains of at least 2% in December and the average house price pushed above £200,000, according to the DCLG.

Nevertheless property experts are still forecasting a slowdown in price growth this year. ‘Higher interest rates will be the key driver of a marked slowdown in house price growth this year,’ said Kelvin Davidson from Capital Economics. ‘Although it may be some months before it is clear in the data we expect house price growth to have cooled markedly by the end of 2007’.