Recent figures from Nationwide show no respite from falling house prices in September, as the annual rate of decline hit 12.4%, the largest recorded since the index started in the 1950’s. The value of the average UK house fell 1.7% in September, leaving the value at £161,797.
The rate at which prices are falling has remained almost unchanged for the last three months, which Nationwide suggest shows the beginning of some stabilisation in the pace of decline.
Halifax reported the same annual fall, but after a loss of 1.3% in September - putting the average value at £172,108.
The annual rate is calculated by comparing the past three months with the same period a year ago, which it is hoped will cut out any short-term volatility. Halifax joined the Nationwide in claiming that the rate of decline had stabilized.
Commenting on the Nationwide figures, Chief Economist Fionnuala Earley said “Although price falls are not painless, they do contribute to restoring housing affordability to more sustainable levels, which is positive for the market over the long term.”
“House prices are now over 60% higher in real terms than they were at the start of the decade, even taking into account the falls since last October.”