House prices fell 0.9% in November, according to Halifax, continuing the very mixed monthly pattern seen this year.
Prices were also down 0.6% over the three months to November and 1% over the year – the smallest annual fall since November 2010.
Martin Ellis, Halifax’s housing economist, said November’s figures continue the ‘very mixed monthly pattern’ seen this year.
There has been an even split of monthly price rises and falls this year, with one month of no change. And at £161,731, the average UK house price is now only marginally lower than at the end of 2010, Halifax said.
However, Ellis added: ‘Overall, house prices have remained remarkably stable in 2011 despite the difficult and deteriorating economic climate and the substantial pressure on households’ finances.
‘In addition, activity has recently shown a few signs of strengthening a little. We expect the market to remain broadly unchanged in terms of both prices and sales over the coming few months as demand and supply conditions alter little,’ he said.
The news comes just one week after Land Registry figures, which are considered the most authoritative, showed price falls had accelerated in October. Nationwide figures, meanwhile, last week showed a 0.4% rise in prices.
‘Now the Halifax House Price Index has muddled the debate even further, by issuing a decidedly downbeat snapshot of the market,’ said Tracy Kellett, director of the property website BDI Homefinders.
‘Behind the apparently contradictory data lies a housing market which is still essentially stagnant, with paltry levels of transactions. This is why tiny variations in the numbers will make house price indexes fluctuate wildly,’ she explained. ‘But such volatility should never be confused with progress.
Victoria Bischoff CityWire.co.uk