House prices down again says Nationwide Index

The annual fall of 12.4% is the biggest recorded by the index since it started in the 1950's, the previous record having been 10.7% which occured in the final quarter of 1990. The price of a typical house now stands at £161,797 down from £164,654 last month which means a fall of £2,857 for the average person.

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: "House prices have now fallen for eleven consecutive months, but the monthly rate of fall has been almost unchanged in the last three months. The less volatile three-month-on-three month series has also barely changed for the last three months, after accelerating in the first half of the year. This may suggest the beginning of some stabilisation in the pace of house price falls."

The average house has lost £22,926 of it's value in the last year, but what about the future? Fionnuala Earley says: " 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. Even if prices fall over the next couple of years , at the trough that would still leave prices more than a fifth higher in real terms than at the start of the decade. 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. Although the next year or two will be difficult , over time the global economy will recover from the current difficulaties, helping to end the cyclical downturn in property markets."