Monday, 6 August 2012 9:29 AM
House prices fell 0.6 per cent in July and by the same amount over the last 12 months, according to the Halifax.
The bank said the underlying trend remains broadly flat, with prices unchanged the last three months compared with the previous three.
Its house price index reveals that the annual rate of house price inflation has been in negative territory for the last year with the decline slowing down up to May 2012 and then edging down again over the last two months.
The average price of a UK home is now £161,094 on the Halifax measure, compared to £162,104 in June and £163,200 a year ago. That means that nationally prices are about the same as in the summer of 2009.
Affordability has improved slightly and the average home is now worth 4.32 times average earnings, compared to 4.35 in June and 4.46 a year ago.
So far this year the Halifax index has recorded four monthly rises – the most recent a 0.8 per cent increase in June – and three falls.
The bank says there has been little change in market conditions over the last two years with the RICS reporting that the ration of house sales to the stock of unsold properties is the same as In October 2010.
Home sales increased by ten per cent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011 but that may have been influenced by the rush to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday in March.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: "At a national level, house prices have been very stable over the past year or so. This can largely be explained by the static nature of supply and demand conditions during this period. Looking forward, we expect little change in prices over the remainder of 2012 so long as the economic climate in the UK does not worsen substantially."