House prices slide again in year of gloom

Britain's virtually moribund housing market ended 2011 on a low after prices fell 0.9 per cent in December, the lender Halifax said yesterday.

The latest slip left prices down 1.3 per cent for the year overall, with the average UK home costing £160,063. Prices are still 20 per cent below their August 2007 peak, according to the Halifax economist Martin Ellis. In real terms, the destruction of housing wealth is even greater as the lender's figures do not adjust for inflation.