House prices decreased in December
House prices across the UK reached an average of £288,000 in December, a small decrease on the previous month, official statistics show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) House Price Index reveals a nationwide increase of 6.7% in the year to December last year, but a seasonally adjusted fall of 0.2% on the previous month.
Annual house price inflation was 7.3% in England, 1% in Wales and 1.5% in Northern Ireland, while prices fell by 0.2% in Scotland.
Prices grew fastest in the East of England, which saw a rise of 9.7%, outperforming the 9.4% rise in London and the 8.8% rise in the South East.
It means prices in the east grew faster than London in 10 of the 12 months in 2015.
All English regions saw some level of house price growth, with the slowest a 0.9% year-on-year rise in the North East.
The rise means excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.1% in the year to December.
The highest prices remain in London, where the average house price now stands at £536,000.
The 0.2% month-on-month fall was the third month in 2015 when prices fell. The ONS figures also show a sharp monthly fall in the price of new builds, by 4.9%.
This is the fastest monthly decrease in the price of new builds since the recession, which saw a 6.3% fall in October 2008.