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House prices fall for eighth month in row

House prices have fallen for the eighth month in a row according to new figures from the Land Registry.

Annual house prices in England and Wales decreased from 3.6 per cent in March to 2.7 per cent in April, taking the average to £183,626.

This is the eighth consecutive fall in the annual rate of growth.

The monthly change for April is -0.2 per cent.

The volume of transactions was also down from the same period last year, with an average of 72,479 per month between November 2007 to February 2008, compared with 103,141 per month from October 2006 to January 2007.

Connells Survey & Valuation managing director Ross Bowen says:“Normally, cheaper house prices make homes more affordable for first time buyers. But some cannot now get the finance they need. The few measures recently announced by the government and Bank of England are a start but much more is needed to help get things moving again.

“We need to see increased liquidity for the financial markets, further commitment from the Bank of England next week, lower interest rates passed onto borrowers and lenders easing restrictive mortgage criteria. Inflationary pressures might be increasing, but the risk to wider economic growth from a stagnant housing market is real and already taking effect.”

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