By Marcus Leach

Data released by Halifax has revealed that house prices in August, compared with July, have fallen by 1.2%.

However, the lender said that they expect property values to remain stable, despite prices being down 2.6% on the same time last year. The average price, at present, being £161,743.

The decrease is the first in four months, and is attributed to low interest rates and a lack of demand.

"The underlying trend, as measured by the latest three months compared with the preceding three months, showed a modest improvement in house prices for the second consecutive month in August. Prices in the three months to August were 1.0% higher than in the previous three months," Martin Ellis, housing economist, said.

"As we have pointed out before, the current low volume of sales tends to make house prices volatile from month to month. The 1.2% fall in August follows three months when prices have risen. As a result, the more reliable quarterly change, which smoothes out some of the monthly volatility, shows a rise in prices of 1.0%.

"A recent decline in average mortgage rates has further boosted home affordability for those able to raise a deposit to make a new purchase. Low interest rates are likely to continue to support the market whilst increased uncertainty about the economic outlook and pressures on householders' finances constrain demand. Overall, we expect broad stability in both prices and activity over the coming months."

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