Data from the Land Registry and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister indicates that house prices are nearly 6% higher than this time last year. The average house price across England and Wales is now £184,924 up from £175,401 a year ago with increases seen in all regions except the South West.

The statistics indicate that prices rose by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2005 and are nearly 6% higher than this time last year. Having said this, prices last year rose by 27.7%, illustrating that the market is continuing to weaken year on year.

Property economists report that although the correction has begun in some parts of the market it will be a long time before price falls are seen. The volume of sales has continued to fall this quarter, with over 718 properties over £1 million sold compared to 977 for the same period in 2004. There has however been an improvement since the first quarter of this year, with volume of sales up by 7%.

Having said this, the Land Registry figures, which covers prices at the completion stage of purchase, indicate that house prices are advancing at their weakest rate in almost a decade, just 5.4% this year compared to last year?s 17% annual increase.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) maintains the decrease in house price inflation comes as no surprise and is part of the widespread market slow down.

However, the recent cut in interest rates and the possibility of further cuts could bring a revival in the market. The Land Registry figures also show signs of improvement, with house prices being up 0.5% since the first quarter.