House prices dipped by 0.8 per cent in March according to the Land Registry - a marked contrast to figures produced by Nationwide earlier this week.
The data shows an annual price increase of 5.3 per cent taking the average property value in England and Wales to £178,007 compared with the peak of £181,049 in November 2007.
Almost inevitably London homes have seen the biggest increase in average value over the last 12 months - up 11.3 per cent - while perhaps equally predictably the north east of England saw the only annual price fall with a decrease of 2.9 per cent.
The north east also saw the largest monthly price decrease with a fall of four per cent.
Recent figures from estate agents showing transaction volumes falling sharply have been confirmed by the registry, which says the number of completed house sales in England and Wales dropped 18 per cent in March to 53,168.
The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1m dropped by 19 per cent to 851, from 1,049 a year earlier. This prompted a Savills buying agent - Guy Meacock of Savills’ Prime Purchase off-shoot - to describe there being “panic in the housing market” as a result of recent stamp duty changes and a possible mansion tax.
The Land Registry data shows that the annual rate at which prices are growing also slowed for the seventh consecutive month to stand at 5.3 per cent, the lowest level since February last year.