House prices have fallen by 2.9% in January, knocking approximately £6,000 off the average UK home. The average house is now worth £223,691, a big fall from December’s figure of £229,729.

The latest report from Halifax shows new buyer enquiries falling for a fifth month with stock levels of property to sell remaining low, at an average of 42 per branch.

According to the RICS monthly report, expectations for the property market are now either flat or negative across all parts of the UK.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “Attention will no doubt be drawn towards the monthly fall of -2.9% from December to January, the second time in three years that we have seen a drop as a new year starts.

“However, the bigger picture is actually that house prices have seen next to no movement over the last year, with annual growth of just 0.8%.”

Bank of England figures show the number of mortgages approved for house purchases saw a flat rise of 0.2% to 63,793.

On a more positive note, December saw 102,330 home sales, close to the 5 year average of 101,515. This is the fourth consecutive month where over 100,000 homes have been sold.