Average house prices in the UK increased by 0.4% in the final quarter of last year, according to the latest figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The data also shows that they also increased by 0.4% in December, month on month taking the average mix-adjusted UK house price to £205,269.
But the figures reveal that property prices vary enormously on a regional basis. Average prices decreased by 1.6% in Wales, fell by 4.6% in Scotland and dropped 8.1% in Northern Ireland. However, there was an increase of 0.5% in average house prices in England.
Average mix-adjusted house prices in December stood at £213,574 in England, £145,926 in Wales, £155,595 in Scotland and £133,647 in Northern Ireland.
London remains the English region with the highest average house price of £346,604) whilst the North East has the lowest average price at £131,462.
In England, southern regions including London and the South East all had average prices above the UK average in December.
Excluding London and the South East, the average UK price in December was £168,220, a decrease of 1.4% over the year.
Prices for new properties were 9.5% higher on average than a year earlier whilst prices for pre-owned dwellings decreased by 0.6%.
The average price for properties bought by first time buyers increased by 1.6% to £153,393 over the year to December 2011, compared to an annual increase of 0.7% in November.
During December prices paid by first time buyers increased by 0.4% on average compared to a decrease of 0.4% in the average prices paid by first time buyers in the same period last year.
The average price of properties bought by former owner occupiers decreased by 0.5% to £237,249 over the year to December 2011, compared to an annual decrease of 0.7% in November.
During December prices paid by former owner occupiers increased by 0.3% on average, compared to an increase 0.1% observed in the same period last year.