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Property prices continue to fall

Potential buyers continued to shy away from the housing market in October, resulting in a drop in prices for the fourth month in a row in England and Wales, new research has shown.

Property intelligence group Hometrack reported that house prices fell by 0.9 per cent in the month, the biggest drop since January last year. The decrease means the average home now sells for £156,200.

More than half of postcode districts (56 per cent) experienced a fall in prices during the period, with just 0.1 per cent of areas seeing prices rise, and Hometrack said a combination of rising supply and falling demand were behind the trend.

The number of new buyers registering with estate agents dropped by 2 per cent during October, the fourth month in a row in which demand has declined. But the number of people putting their homes up for sale continued to increase, rising by 1.9 per cent.

Hometrack director of research Richard Donnell said: “A stand-off is beginning to emerge between buyers waiting for prices to fall further and sellers being unrealistic on the price they’re willing to accept. Further price falls are inevitable in the run-up to Christmas and are likely to continue into the first half of 2011.”