Yorkshire has bucked the national trend by enjoying an increase – albeit slight – in house prices.

The figures, published yesterday in the Office for National Statistics House Price Index (HPI), are calculated using mortgage-financed transactions, collected via the Council of Mortgage Lenders. They reveal the average house price in the Yorkshire region in the year to March 2012 was £161,179 – a rise of 0.2 per cent, signalling a degree of confidence returning to the market.

Nationally, average house prices decreased by 0.4 per cent with an average UK house price of £225,283. The annual decrease in England was driven by decreases in London, which fell by 0.2 per cent, the South-East, which fell by 1.4 per cent and the North-East, which fell by 0.9 per cent.

During March the average price paid by a first-time buyer was £170,109, which is 2.8 per cent higher on average than in March 2011.

Estate agents across the Bradford district said the official figures reflected their experiences of market conditions.

Andrew Kaznowski, of Maxwell’s Residential Sales Ltd, which has offices in Saltaire and Baildon, said: “Over the last six to eight months prices have been stagnant. A year ago valuations were lower than vendors would have liked to have taken and as they come to sell they realised they would have to take a cut.

“Prices have got to a point in the BD area where they are not getting any cheaper. They have already reached the bottom line and the average price is pretty stable.

“They won’t go up for a while, but should start to build up over the next two to three years and people have accepted that.”

He said housing hotspots in the area continued to be the World Heritage Site village of Saltaire, and Apperley Bridge was always popular, but all realistically-valued properties were selling well.

“There are plenty of buyers out there,” he said. “Properties will sell if they are priced right.”

John Watts, managing director of Robert Watts Estate agents, with sales offices at Five Lane Ends, Wibsey, Cleckheaton and Birkenshaw, said it had seen sales increase 24 per cent over this time last year, but values were not increasing much.

“We have not seen any price increases over the last few years, but this year they have levelled out and will not drop any further,” he said.

Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential at Dacre Son and Hartley, with offices in West and North Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire and Humberside is such a big geographical area. What happens to house prices in Haworth can be completely different to Harrogate, let alone Skipton or Bradford.

“It’s therefore essential not to read too much into the house price indices that report on rises and falls in national average house prices, but instead to look at actual sold prices on a street-by- street basis.