House prices continue to fall

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The struggling housing market was dealt another blow today as figures revealed the annual rate at which house prices in England and Wales are falling continued to accelerate in November to hit a fresh record of 12.2 per cent.

The average home lost 1.9 per cent of its value during the month to stand at £161,883, according to the Land Registry.

It is the 15th consecutive month that the annual rate has declined and the average house price is now similar to February 2006 levels.

The number of homes changing hands also continued to slide, with an average of just 48,599 property sales each month between June and September, less than half the average 115,697 transactions a month in the same period in 2007.

In September, the last month for which figures are available, sales totalled 38,508, down 61 per cent from the same month in 2007.

The year-on-year drop in sales stabilised slightly from the previous month's 63 per cent fall, although the number of properties sold was down on August's 46,534 figure.

Only 354 homes were sold for over £1m in September, less than half the 762 properties which changed hands for over seven figures in that month in 2007.

Every region in England showed an annual and monthly decrease in property values.

The South East saw the most significant monthly fall in prices at 3.2 per cent. Homes in the region losing 13.7 per cent of their value year-on-year and the average property now stands at £197,760.

Annual price falls in the East and East Midlands were the most dramatic, as homes lost 14.1 per cent and 14.2 per cent of their value respectively.

Wales, which has previously suffered the steepest falls, underwent no change in the month, but still registered and annual decrease of 11.7 per cent. Homes in the region are now worth an average £126,181.

London properties remained relatively resilient, with a monthly fall of 0.4 per cent, but the average home value has fallen 10.2 per cent in the past year to stand at £317,101.

A very few counties registered slight growth during the month, although none bucked the trend of annual decreases. The Vale of Glamorgan saw the biggest monthly rise, with homes increasing 1.3 per cent, Rhondda Cynon Taff prices were up 0.6 per cent, while North Lincolnshire saw property values inch up 0.3 per cent.