House values ‘decline 17.7%’

House prices have fallen almost 18 per cent over the course of a year, newly released figures have shown.

The Halifax House Price Index for this February revealed that values declined by 17.7 per cent compared to the same period a year previously.

However, the fall seen during that second month of 2009 stood at 2.3 per cent.

Housing economist for the bank Martin Ellis to claim that there are “tentative” signs that the sector may be starting to stabilise.

Despite this, he warned that “continuing pressures on incomes” as well as increasing unemployment – which can lead to people needing debt help – will have an effect on the industry in the coming year.

It is likely that 2009 will be “another difficult year for the housing market”, Mr Ellis remarked.

Recently, the Land Registry reported that house values declined by 0.8 per cent in January 2009, taking the average price of a property to £156,753.

By Jamie Price

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