Recent gloomy house price reports were contradicted this week by two sets of more upbeat figures from the Government.

According to reports from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Land Registry, the recent decline in the property market, brought about by consecutive interest rate rises, has not been as sharp as many had feared, and prices seem to be stabilising rather than falling dramatically, as many commentators predicted would happen.

The ODPM reported only a slight ? 0.15% ? decrease in September?s property prices compared with the previous month, and showed an increase in annual house price inflation, up from 13.6% in August to 13.8% in September.

Meanwhile, the Land Registry?s figures, thought to be the most accurate available, showed that prices were 16.3% higher during the third quarter of 2004 than during the same period for 2003, compared with the second and first quarter figures of 17% and 14% respectively.

According to the Land Registry, all regions within England and Wales enjoyed increases in average property prices during the three months to September 2004. Wales had largest price growth for the second quarter in a row, with Anglesey?s 49% increase topping the league table.