The annual rate of inflation rose again from November to December, the Office of the Prime Minister (ODPM) has said. The latest monthly house price report from the Ministry, which is based on actual agreed sale prices, found that the annual rate was 2.9% up in December, up from 2.2% the previous month.

The average house price at Christmas was £185,788, but although prices rose in England and Scotland, inflation in Wales and Northern Ireland fell back slightly.

In London, average prices rose by 3.8% and in Scotland prices looked extremely healthy, rising from 8.3% to 10.9% over the year. The highest inflation rates, however, remain in the north of England. The North West (7.6%), Yorkshire and the Humber (6.3%), and the North East (6.5%) also performed solidly.

Prices in the East Midlands remained unchanged, and in the South East they fell slightly by 0.3%.

Halifax and Nationwide?s reports for December concur with these findings, although Halifax is now reporting falls in house price inflation. The ODPM is behind with its figures because it collates all agreed sale prices rather than asking prices, and therefore provide a more accurate, if less timely picture of what is happening. To see what?s going on this month, for instance, we must wait until May.

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