While the average property price fell 1.2% in December, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) says the average house would now set Brits back £203,506.
Amid the reported cool in the market, NAEA says property prices ended the year 6.4% higher than in 2003.
Surveying 10,000 members of the NAEA revealed that almost 80% of estate agents expect their business turnover to remain the same or increase by the end of this year, with 55% expecting a pick up from January, while 44% believe that April will see an upturn in productivity.
As healthy as this may sound, this still leaves many agents with either a flat business or many who may not feel so confident about the housing market for 2005.
NAEA says as expected for the time of year, there was little movement in the supply and demand figures, showing only a marginal decrease in the number of buyers and the new instructions.
Available housing however is higher than at the same time in previous years, while first time buyers are set to remain stable for the year, currently at 16.1%, the association says.
Richard Hair, President of the NAEA, comments: "Together with the upbeat reports we are receiving from the agents on the front line, and the wider economic conditions such as low interest rates, we fully expect UK house prices to be showing positive monthly growth again by the spring."IFAonline
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