House prices fell 0.2 per cent in December, according to Nationwide.
The mortgage lender said that it expects prices to move "sideways or modestly lower" over 2012. The warning came as the Bank of England revealed that Britons injected £8.6bn in equity into their homes during the third quarter of the year, a reflection of weak mortgage lending and continuing household retrenchment. Between 1996 and 2008 households consistently withdrew equity from their houses. "The fact that housing equity withdrawal is no longer happening is a further constraint to consumer spending," said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.