Property prices up

House prices rose for the first time in 18 months during December as consumer confidence in the market grew, latest findings from Hometrack revealed yesterday.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales edged ahead to 160,900 – an increase of just 0.1%.

Greater London saw the biggest increase – some 0.3%. However overall prices ended the year an average of 1.57% lower than they started it.

Hometrack expects prices to rise just 1% throughout 2006.