UK house price growth continued to cool in February, as the housing market slowdown became more pronounced.

UK house prices grew 7.2% in the year to February 2015, sharply down from the 8.4% rise seen in the year to January 2015, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS.)

House prices in the UK have generally risen since April 2012 but recent data reflects a general slowdown in the housing market across the UK over a number of months.

The average UK house price is now £268,000 ($392,000, €371,000) the ONS said.

Meanwhile, mortgage lending declined dramatically in February, according to fresh data from the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The number of loans made to borowes declined in February by 1% compared to the previous month. The fall was even more dramatic compared to the same month in the previous year, with 16% fewer loans being advanced.

Gross mortgage lending totalled £13.6bn in February, representing an 8% decline compared to January and an 8% decline compared to February 2014.

"As with January, seasonal factors have played their part in dampening house purchase lending activity in February. This typical seasonal trend may also be exacerbated by uncertainty ahead of the general election, but we will still expect to see an upturn in the spring and summer months," said Paul Smee, director general of the CML.