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Modest drop in house prices for January

House prices fell in January by a modest 0.1 per cent according to Nationwide’s house price index.

This is the third month running that house prices have decreased. The annual rate of house price inflation slipped in January from 4.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent and the average price is now £180,473 down from £182,080 in December.

Nationwide senior economist Martin Gahbauer says: “Although house prices have now fallen for three consecutive months, the price of a typical property is still 4.2 per cent higher than a year ago. However, this figure is down from 4.8 per cent in December and represents the lowest rate of annual house price inflation since December 2005.

“Highlighting the softness in house prices since November, the 3-month on 3-month rate of price growth fell to -0.3 per cent, down from +0.9 per cent the previous month. The average price of a typical property stood at £180,473 in January, an increase of £7,249 over the last 12 months.”

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors senior economist David Stubbs says: “With activity weak, the market is becoming looser and tilting the balance of power away from sellers and towards buyers. However, conditions in the mortgage market need to improve if the thousands of would-be first time buyers out there are going to be able to get their foot on the ladder in coming months.”

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