26 Jan 2009

UK house prices continue to fall

4:38 pm on 26 January 2009

House prices in Britain fell by 1% in January and are 9.4% lower than a year earlier, according to a monthly survey of estate agents.

The survey by property analysts Hometrack show house prices have fallen 10.2% from their peak in August 2007 after 16 straight months of decline.

Surveys by lenders Halifax and Nationwide have shown peak-to-trough house price falls of as much as 20% so far, based on mortgage data.

House prices were the first visible casualty of the credit crunch and ensuing economic downturn in Britain after trebling since the start of the decade.

Most British households own their own home, and economists blame the fall in price of what is many Britons' biggest asset for depressing consumer spending, even before the economy tipped into a sharp recession that threatens jobs.