The pace of house price growth fell to the weakest levels since August 2013 at the end of last year, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
Figures revealed today show huge variations across the country, with Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North West of England seeing the strongest growth in property values.
London was the only region where more surveyors reported prices falling than rising.
Meanwhile, Rics number of new house hunters entering the market has been falling for six months in a row.
In Yorkshire, the figure increased by 13 per cent last December, reflecting a national the broader weaker trend in new buyer demand taking hold across the UK.
John Haigh, of Lister Haigh’s Land and Estate Agents in North Yorkshire, said: “The market is still little affected by new market housing for sale as building of new homes is still patchy.”
December also saw mortgage approvals fall to their lowest in 18 months in the region.
A shortage of affordable housing has been blamed for offering little choice to those looking to get on to the property ladder.
Rics said it seems “implausible” that property prices are set to show much of a dip, but if demand from potential buyers starts to pick up from its current sluggish levels, the increased competition for the few properties on the market that this causes could rapidly result in an upswing in property prices.
Stamp duty reforms are also expected to boost house sales and prices by two to five per cent over the next 12 months, but experts warn that first-time buyers are still facing a huge struggle.
Simon Rubinsohn, Rics’ chief economist, said: “There remain significant challenges, particularly for first-time buyers.”