Rightmove, the property website, reported that profits had risen last year, while official figures revealed that house prices had fallen for the seventeenth month in a row in January, wiping more than £1,300 off the value of an average home.

Property values and England and Wales fell by 0.8 per cent during January, taking the annual decline to a record 15.1%, according to the Land Registry.

Rightmove's revenue rose 31% to £74m in 2008, although it warned that advertising had eased in the second half of the year. Underlying operating profit rose by 33% to £41m during the year to 31 December.

The Times (Sat)