Average house price falls in February, says government index

The mix-adjusted average house price in February stood at £160,937 – down from £162,559 in January, the government&#39s house price index reveals.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister reports that UK annual house price inflation in February 2004 was 9.8%, up from 9.7% in January. The index shows that annual house price inflation in London stood at 5.7% in February 2004, up from 5% in January.

Apart from England, all the home countries saw a rise in annual inflation. The rise was strongest in Scotland, up from 23.3% in January to 26.2% and lowest in Northern Ireland, up from 6.1% to 6.5%. Annual inflation in Wales was 21.7%, up from 19.3% in January.

The index also reveals that mix-adjusted average house prices in February were £172,825 in England, £119,136 in Wales, £99,090 in Scotland and £102,697 in Northern Ireland.

The English region with the highest average house price in February was London at £243,231, while the lowest average price was in the North-East at £107,449.

Only the East, London, South-East and the South-West had average prices above the UK average.

The UK house price inflation rate for first-time buyers fell slightly to 12% in February from 12.1% in January. The ODPM says this is due to a decrease in prices of 2.4% between January and February, compared with a fall of 2.3% over the same period last year. In contrast, the inflation rate for former owner occupiers remained unchanged at 8.7% in February.

The average house price in the UK for first-time buyers stood at £125,322 in February, while the average price paid by former owner occupiers stood at £180,235.