House prices ‘fall 0.4%’

Average house values dropped by 0.4 per cent in April, new figures have shown, which may be unwelcome news for those facing the prospect of negative equity.

Data from Nationwide revealed that the decline took the price of a typical house down to £151,861, a 15 per cent fall compared to a year ago.

However, the tri-monthly change – which gives an indication of more recent trends – actually improved by one per cent.

Chief economist for the building society Fionnuala Earley noted that the April fall was in “line with expectations” when taken in context of the economic downturn.

And she stated that housing market measures announced in last week’s Budget are “welcome” and may improve the level of mortgage finance available.

However, Ms Earley warned that this alone is not enough to spark a “quick turnaround” in the industry.

Meanwhile, Peter Bolton King of the National Association of Estate Agents has suggested overpaying on mortgages as a form of debt management.

By Jamie Price

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