The housing market has suffered a further blow with the news that prices fell in every region in England and Wales in September.
It is the first time that prices have fallen across the board since April 2009, according to Hometrack.
Overall, average prices fell by 0.4% in the month, down to £157,600.
The North East saw the smallest fall, with prices declining by 0.1%, while the South West suffered the biggest decline, at 0.6%.
The South East and East Anglia also suffered poor months, with average prices falling by 0.5%.
Even the traditionally strong Greater London market suffered in September, with a fall of 0.4% recorded.
The setback appears to have been caused by a fall in demand, with figures showing that the number of buyers registering with agents has fallen by 6.5% over the last three months.
Houses are also spending more time on the market than they have done in the past year, with the average time taken to sell a property rising to 9.3 weeks.
Despite the price falls, Hometrack's director of research, Richard Donnell, believes that any talk of an impending housing market crash is wide of the mark, although he did admit that demand is falling.
"Talk of a double dip, with the implication being that the market will see double digit house price falls, is over done despite the weak outlook for demand," he commented.
"The decline in demand has accelerated over the last three months compared to the previous quarter.
"Anecdotally, agents report that there are fewer purchasers and that those purchasers looking to buy are both cautious and choosy.
"The return of the buyer's market seems inevitable in the coming months although the majority of vendors do not have to sell."
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