By Max Clarke

A drop of just 0.1% in the mean UK house price suggests the pattern of house price decline seen over much of this year may be reversing.

The latest figures from LSL Property Services in conjunction with Acadametrics show an overall decline of 2.6% over the year ending July, with May showing the single largest monthly drop.

“The average price of a home in England & Wales at the end of July was £217,300, a level last seen in December 2009,” said Acadamertics Chairman, Peter Williams. “The market is moving backwards, taking with it the modest gains seen in 2010 and in the early months of 2011. That said, the July 2011 price is still significantly higher than the £200,234 to which the average fell in April 2009, at the low point in the last recession.”

Housing activity, however, remains subdued, with transactions over the past 12 months averaging 40% less than the pre-recession peek.

Global stock market unease following the downgrading of the US’ AAA rating, coupled with ongoing financial strife in the eurozone are having knock-on effects in the UK housing market, further keeping activity below potential.

Downwards trends in prices and activity remain the most pronounced in the North of the country, with London again emerging as the only UK region to post price growth, as Williams comments:

“Since 2007, only Greater London has seen a rise in property prices, but even this 5.6% rise over the last four years means prices in the capital have fallen 7.5% in real terms. Nationally, prices have fallen in real terms by just over 17%. This has significantly reduced homeowners’ ability to fund additional spending through equity release, but means cash buyers and low LTV borrowers will find property great value.”

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