House prices declined nominally in June, continuing the trend of monthly rises and falls that have characterised the housing market so far this year.
Asking prices for property fell by 0.5 per cent last month but the inconsistent nature of sector so far this year suggests the rate of decline is easing.
Figures from the Halifax's House Price Index also show that, having fallen by 1.9 per cent, the decline between April and June was the smallest quarterly fall since the first three months of 2008.
However, house prices have fallen by 15 per cent in the last 12 months, although the rate of annual decline is at its lowest level since November last year.
In the last three quarters of 2008, property prices fell by between five to six per cent during each period.
Currently, the average price of property in the UK is £157,091 – the same level as seen five years ago in the second quarter of 2004.
The balance of supply and demand has helped stabilise the mortgage market conditions somewhat. The increasing demand combined with a low level of stock has been key to the rate of house price decline slowing.
Lower interest rates have also boosted affordability, with monthly home loan repayments currently estimated to be 21.6 per cent of a household's income. In October 2008, the proportion was almost 27 per cent – a peak in the market.
"Improvements in affordability and low interest rates have stimulated housing demand. This, together with a low level of properties available for sale, has helped to stabilise activity and reduce the underlying rate of house price decline in recent months," Martin Ellis, housing economist, commented.
"Overall, we expect to see a continuing pattern of monthly house price rises and falls over the reminder of 2009."
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