Prices have been affected by a series of factors in recent months
First-time buyers faced house prices that were 8.9% higher in January than a year earlier, government figures show.
The average price paid by those buying their first UK home was £149,924 in January, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said.
This rose by 0.2% compared with December and was part of a general rise in UK house prices.
Mortgage lenders are still being fussy over custom, including requiring a significant deposit from new borrowers.
The Financial Services Authority said that the proportion of new lending at a loan-to-value of more than 90% accounted for less than 2% of new advances in the final three months of 2009.
The DCLG said that average UK house prices were 2.2% higher in January than in December, with the typical home costing £207,159. This was 6.2% up on January 2009, the department said.
The less volatile three-month on three-month measure showed that prices rose by 4.8%.
The biggest rises have been in Scotland, but prices continued to fall in Northern Ireland.
On a regional level in England, prices fell by 1.5% in the North East, but rose by 8.1% in the South East.