By Claire West

There was little change in underlying house price growth in the UK over first eight months of 2012, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said:

"Nationally, house prices continue to tread water, as measured by the underlying trend. Prices in the three months to August were fractionally lower (-0.3%) compared with the previous three months. House prices fell by 0.4% in August with the declines in the past two months largely offsetting the gains in the preceding two months.

"Overall, there has been little change in house prices so far this year with the UK average price in August at a very similar level to the end of 2011. A gradual upward trend in spending power, aided by lower inflation, should help to support housing demand in the coming months. Nonetheless, house prices are likely to remain flat over the remainder of 2012 and into next year."