Falling house prices
The latest House Price Index from the Land Registry Office shows house prices have fallen by 0.2% between August and September.
The annual rate of house price growth now stands at 5.2%. This means that the average house price is £166,769 in England and Wales.
All regions in England and Wales have experienced average house price increases over the past twelve months. London has seen the biggest price increase, at 8.8% higher compared to September 2009.
The figures contrast with those published by Nationwide, which show house prices falling by 0.7% in October compared with the previous month. Their more reliable three-month on three-month comparison showed a price fall of 1.5% in October.
Based on the Nationwide figures, an average home has risen in value by 1.4% compared to year ago. A month ago, the annual growth rate measured by Nationwide was a more respectible 3.1%.
If this trend continues, we could finish the year with zero growth or a small reduction in average house prices, depending on which set of figures we read.
Falling house prices would be good news for first-time buyers who continue to find it challenging to get onto the property ladder, with low interest rates not being reflected in mortgage rates or availability.
A report from the Home Builders Federation found that the average age for an unassisted first-time buyer is now 37 years old with the typical first-time buyer needing to save a deposit of £37,000 to buy a starter home costing £155,000.
Photo courtesy of Lucy Crosbie.