The February data from Land Registry’s House Price Index shows an annual price increase of 1.0% which takes the average property value in England and Wales to £162,606.
The monthly change from January to February shows an increase of 0.2%. Repossession volumes decreased by 26% in December 2012 to 1,193 compared with 1,612 in December 2011.
The region in England and Wales which experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 6.3%. Wales experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 3.6%.
The region with the greatest annual price fall is Yorkshire & The Humber with a decrease of 0.9%.The South West saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 0.8%.
The most up-to-date figures available show that during December 2012, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 15% to 53,860 compared with 63,600 in December 2011.
The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in December 2012 increased by 19% to 598 from 501 in December 2011.
The only region to see an increase in repossessions was London with an increase of 3% (December 2012 compared with December 2011).
Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “February property prices edged higher, according to the Land Registry, offsetting more negative lending figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and British Bankers Association for the same month.
“However, before we get too carried away it’s important to realise that the national average masks significant regional differences, with prices falling in parts of the country and London continuing to outstrip the rest. We expect this situation to continue throughout this year.
“On the lending front, the picture is increasingly positive with some of the cheapest mortgages ever seen. Lenders continue to cut rates and offer more choice at higher loan-to-values as well, which is steadily boosting the number of first-time buyers.
“There was a welcome drop in the number of repossessions in December 2012 compared with the same month a year ago but any repossession is one too many. It is also worrying that the number of repossessions in London actually rose, suggesting that the high cost of living in the capital is proving too much for some homeowners.
“The fact that this is happening even though interest rates are at historic lows is a real concern. It is vital that lenders continue to show forbearance towards borrowers.”