In their latest monthly surveys, both Halifax and Nationwide reported that house prices continued to fall during April.
Whilst this news has only confirmed what many expected, a milestone has been passed as the lenders calculated that for the first time since 1996 our homes are worth less than they were 12 months previously.
Both lenders said prices fell by over 1% in April, pushing the annual change into the red by around 1%, and making the average house worth £1,759 less than this time last year according to Nationwide.
They also agreed that the slowing housing market would add to the overall economic slowdown. This in turn should help to ease inflationary pressures and allow the Bank of England room to cut interest rates further this year.
The reports have come hot on the heels of news from the Bank of England, showing that recent cuts to base rate have had little effect on the market. New mortgage approvals have sunk to their lowest levels since records began in 1990, as new mortgage rates continued to rise despite 0.75% being shaved off base rate in the last 5 months.
However, the £50 billion offered by the Bank to mortgage lenders, to help ease the difficult market conditions, may be having a positive effect on confidence as the cost of borrowing has started to fall, which in turn could eventually lead on to cheaper mortgages.