According to the latest House Price Index from Rightmove, asking prices rose just 1.4 per cent in 2012 as summer events like the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics kept the market relatively flat
In December alone, property prices fell by an average of 3.3 per cent, or £7,772, as the Christmas period proved to be particularly challenging for sellers.
Director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, Miles Shipside, described the December results as part of the "all or nothing" pattern of 2012.
He said: "Many who put their property up for sale this close to the festive season will have a very good and pressing reason to sell, so Christmas will have come early for those buyers who have been able to bag a bargain."
The message for those interested in buy-to-let may very well be that looking for property at busy times of the year is best for securing a good deal, which could reap rewards long into the future.
As the Rightmove results showed, property in London took a far larger price hike than the national average at 6.8 per cent in 2012 - £29,527.
In the year however, the capital is not perhaps where all the price increases will take shape as the southern regions gain pace to strengthen the overall property market.
Mr Shipside was optimistic about the year ahead and suggested competition between lenders was heating up, alongside a "five-year itch" among homeowners hoping to move further up the ladder.
He added: "Many movers have had to put their housing aspirations on hold since the onset of the credit-crunch, but increased competition among lenders and the slow but steady increase in affordability of house prices may help some to finally move on."
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