House prices climbed higher in July offering a slight respite to the prevailing downward trend.
The latest data from the Land Registry's flagship House Price Index showed prices increased by 1.3% from June to July, to leave the average property value in England and Wales at £163,049.
However, prices still remained 2.1% lower than a year earlier, with the research revealing London to be the only region to experience an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months (+1.3%).
While the South West experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 2.2%, its polar opposite, the North East, experienced both the greatest monthly price fall (-2.3%) and the most significant annual price fall (-8.8%).
The monthly rise in prices comes after research showed house-hunters had bucked traditional holiday trends.
Estate agents typically experience a lull in activity during the summer months as people take a holiday instead of house-hunt.
However, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reported a surge in enquiries for property to purchase during July, with the number of people on agents' books reaching the highest figure since May 2009.
"This is an unprecedented increase for what is traditionally a very quiet time," said Peter Bolton King, NAEA chief executive.
"As mortgage conditions are more favourable now than at any time in the last three years, those in a position to buy are coming out of the woodwork and benefiting from prices that are, overall, still lower than a year ago."
Elsewhere amongst the Land Registry data, it was revealed that the number of completed house sales in England and Wales in May was down 10% compared with a year earlier. The Land Registry said transaction volumes had been relatively consistent over the past six months, but noted the number of properties sold for over £1 million decreased by 44% between May 2010 and May 2011, from 464 to 262.
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