House prices down in December


House prices down in December
House prices were down by 0.5 per cent in December, the second month in a row to see average property values falling, new research shows.

According to the Nationwide house price index out today, the average UK property is worth £182,080 this month, after falling just over £2,000 since November.

Across the year the UK housing market was up 4.8 per cent.

Commenting on how the money markets had impacted on house prices, Nationwide chief economist Fionnuala Earley said the property market had "weakened significantly in the closing months of 2007".

She added: "While we finish the year with house prices broadly in the range we had expected, the path to this point has been quite different to our expectations. Most indicators now show that demand is responding to the pressures of weak affordability, past increases in interest rates and the lower house price expectations that we had expected to take hold earlier in the year.

"However, the turmoil in the financial markets resulting from the US sub-prime mortgage issue and the problems experienced by a UK mortgage bank has swiftly added to the pace of changing sentiment in latter months.

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