The housing market is slowing outside of London, with prices in the West Midlands remaining static in July, according to new data.
Overall house prices in England and Wales have increased by 0.6 per cent so far this month, the latest survey by property website Home-track shows. This takes year-on-year growth to 3.2 per cent, the company said.
But whilst the capital continued to boost results with a one per cent rise in prices, Birmingham property did not budge.
The average cost of a home in Birmingham now stands at £118,500, compared to £280,000 in London. Elsewhere there was 0 per cent growth in the East Midlands with property averaging £122,500 and a 0.1 per cent rise in Yorkshire and Humberside sending prices to £125,100.
H ometrack said that despite some areas of high growth, the reality was that across two-thirds of the country house prices remained unchanged. "This is largely a result of continuing affordability pressures in the markets away from southern England which experienced rapid high price growth between 2002 and 2004," said Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack.
The survey also shows the first dip in first-time buyers this year. There was a 0.9 per cent drop nationally - 4.5 per cent in Birmingham - in the volume registering with agents over July.
Hometrack said this was a normal seasonal trend but one that had arrived a month later than in previous years.
"The growth in prices over July may seem at odds with the decline in demand" said Mr Donnell. "However, against the background of a limited supply of housing for sale, agents are still reporting continued upward pressure on prices, especially in southern England."
Hometrack said the prospects for house price growth over the rest of the year were down to interest rates and "other external factors that impact on the market".
"If rates were to move higher over the autumn then this would certainly have an impact on levels of market activity and support the expected slowdown in the scale of growth," Mr Donnell said.
* Homeowners are bracing themselves after strong indications that interest rates could rise to 4.75 per cent this week. Key data released in July which helps the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) make its decision on rates was significantly stronger, suggesting a move is on the cards.
Soaring gas and electricity bills drove inflation to its highest rate since Labour came to power in 1997. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation leapt to 2.5 per cent in June - up from 2.2 per cent in May and ahead of economy's forecast of 2.3 per cent. This was above the Bank of England's target rate of two per cent and puts pressure on the MPC to bring inflation back under control.
The MPC meets monthly to set interest rates in order to keep inflation at two per cent over a two-year period.
In addition, figures last week indicated that the UK economy grew by more than expected between April and June.
The preliminary estimate of GDP showed a figure of 0.8 per cent for the second quarter, slightly higher than most City expectations and stronger than the 0.7 per cent rise seen in the previous two quarters.
Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec Securities, said next week's meeting would be the most hotly debated for some time.
"The MPC faces its toughest decision for a while as it deliberates whether shorter term activity and inflation pressures justify tighter monetary policy, despite increasing concerns of slower growth further out," he said.
On balance, he predicts a rise to 4.75 per cent.