Market sees steady growth in February

Prices now average at £180,252 after increasing by 6.5% year-on-year, down from 6.7% in the year to January.

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite the gradual slowdown in the rate of house price rises, it is crucial that homeowners don’t get too caught up in the short-term fluctuations.

“Instead, they should look at the trends over the last year or so which will give a clearer indication of where the market is heading.”

He added: “In order to maintain stability in the housing market, house prices need to grow at a similar rate to inflation and supply needs to increase.

“Around a quarter of a million new homes need to be built every year to meet current levels of demand.”

On a regional basis London saw annual price growth of 13.1%, while behind was the East (10.5%) and the South East (9%).

But the North West saw property price inflation of just 0.7%, while growth in Yorkshire and the Humber stood at 2.8%.

On a monthly basis prices in the North East increased by a massive 6.2%, exceeding annual growth of 3.7% in the area.

Behind the North East was Wales (4.4%) and the West Midlands (5.0%), while at the other end of the spectrum prices dropped by 1.7% and 0.4% in the North West and South West month-on-month.

In London prices increased by 0.6% on a monthly basis.

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Property Finance, said: "Transactions are down, and the month-on-month growth has softened considerably, but this is to be expected as the market pauses for breath ahead of the election.

"But the pause is likely to be a short one - with mortgage rates very low and the falling prices of consumer goods making people feel richer, buyer confidence is being steadily stoked.

"As that demand butts up against a systemic shortage of property, we should expect prices to remain on their upward trajectory."