House prices fall for 13th month in a row

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The Independent Online

The housing market is showing no signs of recovery, a leading property website said yesterday as it published figures showing prices fell again last month.

The average price of a home fell 0.2 per cent in June, the 13th consecutive monthly fall, Hometrack said. That took the annual rate of decline to 3.7 per cent.

The number of buyers fell while more properties came onto the market, pushing the balance of power further in favour of the purchaser.

John Wriglesworth, Hometrack's housing economist, said: "While housing transactions have grown slightly all other indicators - price, time to sell, number of buyers - are worsening." He said growing speculation over a cut in interest rates next month had so far failed to lift confidence among buyers, who were more concerned by the state of the market.

The national average house price now stands at £161,300, down from a peak of £167,700 in June last year and down more than 3.7 per cent in the past 12 months.

One county has seen price rises this month, 17 have been static and 39 have seen price falls. The only county to report a price rise at the top end of the scale is Berkshire (0.1 per cent). The largest falls were in Hereford and Worcester (0.9 per cent), West Midlands (0.8 per cent), Teesside (0.6), Northumberland (0.6) and Dorset (0.6).

Meanwhile, the Centre for Economics and Business Research forecast prices would not rise above their current levels until 2010, but said they were unlikely to fall by more than 4 or 5 per cent in the interim.