By Claire West
The Nationwide Monthly House Price Index shows that house prices fell in November meaning that prices have hardly changed from a year earlier.
Commenting on the figures Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:
“The recent trend of modestly falling house prices continued during November, with the price of a typical UK property declining by 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis between October and November.
The three month on three month rate of change — a smoother measure of the recent price trend — rose from -1.5% to -1.3%.
This remains well above the deeply negative rates of -5% to -6% that prevailed during the most severe phase of the downturn in 2008. The annual rate of change — which compares house prices to their level 12 months ago — fell from 1.4% to 0.4% and suggests that house prices are essentially unchanged from a year earlier.
There is little evidence to suggest that house price declines are likely to accelerate in the months ahead. Much of the weakness in property values since the Spring has been driven by a return of sellers to the market, following unusually low levels of property for sale in 2009 and early 2010.
However, there is little to indicate that these sellers need to achieve a sale urgently for financial or economic reasons, which means that the downward pressure on house prices is only modest.
In addition, there are early signs that the flow of new property onto the market may be slowing down again as potential sellers observe the recent weakness in prices and decide against marketing their properties at the current juncture. Similar seller behaviour was observed in late 2008 and early 2009, eventually leading to a decline in the amount of property on the market."