By Daniel Hunter
The Halifax have said that UK house prices fell by 0.3% in 2012 and will remain at the same level during 2013.
"There was evidence of a firming in the housing market in the final few months of 2012," Martin Ellis, housing economist, said.
"Prices in the three months from October to December were 0.6% higher than in the preceding three months. This was the first increase in this measure of the underlying trend for seven months."
Property prices were 1.3% higher in December than they had been in November, with the average home valued at £163,845, it said.
The Halifax said it expected continued "stability", but added that the outlook for the UK economy and house prices was more unclear than usual.
"Overall, last year saw an even mix of monthly rises and falls as prices lacked any real direction as both demand and supply pressures remained largely unchanged during 2012," Ellis continued.
"On an annual basis, prices in the final quarter of 2012 were marginally lower than in the last three months of 2011.
"We expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013 with prices likely to end the year at levels close to where they begin."
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