House prices start to level out

This was the first increase in this measure of the underlying trend for seven months.

"Overall, last year saw an even mix of monthly rises and falls as prices lacked any real direction as both demand and supply pressures remained largely unchanged during 2012. On an annual basis, prices in the final quarter of 2012 were marginally lower than in the last three months of 2011.

"We expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013 with prices likely to end the year at levels close to where they begin."

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