Average asking prices are up 3.4% in January compared with December 2007 – but seller caution has led to the biggest monthly fall ever in the number of properties for sale.

Overall, the prime country market is up by 0.2%, with most resilience found in Scotland and the south east, due to low numbers of homes on the market.

Prime central London is behaving at odds with the rest of the property market in the UK, recording a significant monthly boost in asking prices, according to the new figures from primelocation.com; the average price in prime central London is now at a record high of £1.2 million.

This means quality property is still commanding high prices: ‘With fewer properties to choose from and sustained demand from the City, investors and international money, asking prices have been pushed upwards,’ says Ian Springett from Primelocation.

‘However, it is too early to tell whether the price recovery will be sustained,’ he adds.

Prices in the south east commuter belt have remained buoyant (+1.1%), largely due to a lack of property on the market (down a record 12%).

Further significant price rises are not anticipated in the coming months and agents continue to urge sellers to be realistic over pricing.

At the very top end, sellers are able to carry on naming their price, as the super-wealthy compete for limited stock of truly super-prime properties, said the report.