House prices continue to slide

UK house prices continued to fall in October, with Nationwide reporting an average fall of 1.4% for the month.

While this was a slightly smaller fall than the preceding three months, it is the twelfth consecutive month that prices have come down.

The average price is now 14.6% lower than a year ago at £158,872, a fall of nearly £30,000, with the continued slump being blamed on the lowest number of sales for 34 years.

With Hometrack quoting the average time to sell a property increasing from 7.4 weeks in October last year to 11.9 weeks now, Nationwide said that asking prices have been falling slower than other measures and there was evidence that most sellers do not yet feel the need to reduce their prices dramatically for a quick sale.

Their chief economist, Fionnuala Earley added " Urgency had been taken out of the market because buyers were expecting prices to fall further in the coming months. However, the speed of the economic slowdown and the determination on the part of central banks to return stability to the financial markets does mean that interest rates are likely to continue to be cut sharply."

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