There was a surprise fall in house prices in London during March, new figures show.
Prices in the capital fell by 1.8% during the month, taking the average price of a property to £343,522, although over the last year London has seen prices rise by 0.7% - the highest of any region in England and Wales , figures from the Land Registry show.
The annual change in the capital has now fallen below zero since September 2009.
Across England and Wales , prices fell by 0.6% during the month, with the average cost of a home falling to £160,372.
The North East benefitted from the greatest monthly rise, as prices in the region increased by 5.6% (up to £101,676).
By contrast, Wales suffered both the greatest monthly and annual fall of all regions; prices fell by 4.1% in the month, and 5.5% across the year.
Over the last two years, the number of house sales has remained relatively consistent.
In the months October 2011 to January 2012, sales volumes averaged 55,661 transactions per month.
This is an increase from the same period a year earlier, when sales volumes averaged 52,363 per month.
In addition, the number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in January 2012 fell by 6% from 467 to 497 in January, with the majority (315) snapped up in London.
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