By Marcus Leach

Data released by mortgage lender Halifax has revealed that house prices across the UK fell by an average of 1.3% in 2011.

However, a drop of 0.9% in December took the average house price down to £160,063.

According to the lender the property market had been surprisingly resilient in the face of falling incomes and a deteriorating economy.

"House prices in the final quarter of 2011 were 0.1% lower than in the previous quarter," Martin Ellis, housing economist, said.

"This compared with a 0.1% rise between Quarter 2 (April to June) and Quarter 3 (July to September). On a monthly basis, prices fell by 0.9% between November and December.

"Whilst there was a modest fall overall in prices during 2011 with an annual decline of 1.3% in December, house prices held up well last year in the face of the difficult and deteriorating economic climate and substantial pressure on households' finances.

"If the UK can avoid recession, we expect broad stability in house prices in 2012. There is, however, considerable uncertainty regarding the prospects for the UK economy which will, to a large extent, depend on how events in the Eurozone unfold.

"In addition, the extent to which households choose to reduce their debts will also affect growth. As a result, the outlook for house prices is also uncertain."

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