House prices dipped by 0.3% in January, official figures show

House prices dipped by 0.3% month-on-month in January, official figures show.

Across the UK, the average house price was £226,000, marking a 4.9% increase on a year earlier, according to the figures released jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Land Registry and other bodies.

The annual house price growth rate slowed from 5% in December.

In England, house prices increased by 4.6% over the year to January, with the average price in England now £242,000.

Wales saw house prices increase by 4.5% over the previous 12 months to stand at £153,000.

In Scotland, the average price increased by 7.3% over the year to reach £149,000, while the average price in Northern Ireland was £130,000, an increase of 4.3% over the year.

Within England, the East Midlands showed the highest annual house price growth, with a 7.3% increase.

This was followed by the South West (6.9%) and the West Midlands and East of England (both 5.3%).

The lowest annual growth was in the North East of England, where prices increased by 0.7%, followed by London at 2.1%.

London continues to have the highest average house price at £486,000, compared with £123,000 in the North East.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: "We have found house prices to be rather volatile over the past few months - up a bit, then down a bit.

"On the one hand, they have been supported by low interest rates and shortage of stock, but on the other, compromised by squeezed affordability and Brexit uncertainty.

"No region reflects this pattern more than London, which is showing again that price rises are lagging behind most of the rest of the country, mainly due to previous overheating and now availability of more stock.

"Successful sellers are the ones who are recognising the new market realities. Property needs to stand out one way or another to gain attention."

Sarah Beeny, founder of estate agent, said: "January is often a tough month in the property calendar, so it's no surprise to see a weak start to the year in terms of house price growth."

She continued: "As the year progresses and seasonal activity picks up, I think we'll see house price growth increase again."

Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, said: "Regional trends, which can be volatile, show a mixed picture."

He continued: "We are expecting UK-wide house price inflation of around 4% in 2018."