Date Published 07 January 2013

Last month's figures on sales agreed look to have been the best for a December since the start of the credit crunch.

Board supplier Agency Express said that the number of estate agents' boards converting to Sold were the highest for December since it began its records in 2007.

December's month on month house sales did, however, experience the usual seasonal decline, dropping 30.3% on November.

However, the firm says that overall the total number of properties that achieved Sold status in 2012 increased by 4.9% compared to 2011.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, said: `We normally expect to see a significant drop in housing market activity in December, so generally the figures are in line.

`But the fact that the total number of properties sold in 2012 was the second highest since 2007 and the fact that December 2012 numbers were the highest recorded for the same month since 2007 should give a degree of optimism for even the most pessimistic.`

Meanwhile, the Halifax reported this morning that average house prices rose 1.3% in December to stand at £163,845. House prices rose six times last year, and decreased six times last year, the Halifax said