The annual pace of house price growth is now at its slowest for a year, according to the UK's second biggest mortgage lender.
Nationwide said house price inflation fell to 7.2% in December on an annual basis, down from 8.5% in November.
However, activity in the housing market is likely to pick up in the months ahead, Nationwide said.
Monthly house prices rose by 0.2% in December, taking the average house price up to £188,559.
"The pace of annual house price growth continued to soften as 2014 drew to a close," said Nationwide's chief economist, Robert Gardner.
Mr Gardner said the slowdown in the housing market was "surprising given further steady gains in employment, a pickup in wage growth (albeit from low levels) and the continued low level of mortgage rates" in the UK.
"If the economic backdrop continues to improve as we and most forecasters expect, activity in the housing market is likely to regain momentum in the months ahead," he added.
A pick-up in the housing market a year ago was also a factor in the slowing annual increase in prices. That is part of the reason for the annual price rise for 2013 being faster than 2014.
Sam: 2nd Jan 2015 15:00:00
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