House prices fall by 0.4pc

However, on an annual basis growth remains strong, up 5.6% since March 2013 and the average house price in England and Wales is now £169,124 compared with the peak of £181,618 in November 2007.

Over the last 12 months, London saw the fastest increase in property values, up 12.4% whilst Wales experienced the only annual price fall with a drop of 1.6%.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “Price rises may have slowed slightly, but this isn’t a backwards step for the market.

“Year-on-year house price growth remains strong and buyer sentiment is high. In terms of volumes, the UK property market continues to show significant and sustained growth.”

The most up-to-date figures available show that during January 2014 the number of completed house sales in England & Wales increased by 46 per cent to 63,123 compared with 43,373 in January 2013.

Brown said: “Numbers matter as much as prices. Providing homes is a vital service for our economy, and the first function of the property industry.

“Alongside such a pick-up in transaction volumes, marginally slower price rises will benefit aspiring homeowners looking to get on the ladder.

“The rental market is already leading the way on affordability, and the next big step will be for wages to grow in tandem with house prices too.

“For that to happen we need to build considerably more homes, and the economy to maintain its current trajectory – but things are going in the right direction.”

The Index also revealed that there were 979 repossessions in England & Wales during January 2014and the region with the greatest fall in repossession sales was the North East.