The latest Halifax House price index for July reinforces the fact that the UK property market remains flat.
House prices fell by 0.6 per cent in July after rising in May and June and provide further evidence of the fluctuating UK property market in 2012 so far. So far in 2012 there have been four monthly increases and three monthly falls.
The annual rate of fall has declined from 2.6 per cent in July 2012, to between a range of 0.1 and 0.6 per cent over the past five months.
Halifax warned that the mix of reluctant sellers and cautious buyers could influence further stagnation of the property market through the rest of 2012.
Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: "The underlying trend in house prices were flat in the three months to July compared with the previous three months. House prices fell by 0.6% in July following consecutive increases in May and June as prices continue to fluctuate on a monthly basis.”
The cost of moving is also limiting activity in the property market as homeowners opt to stay put until there are ongoing signs of economic recovery.
Howard Archer, Chief UK & European Economist at IHS Global Insight said: "The Halifax data heighten our suspicion that house prices are headed lower over the rest of 2012 and very possibly beyond in the face of limited activity, low and fragile consumer confidence, muted earnings growth and relatively high unemployment. We expect house prices to end up losing at least 3 per cent from current levels."
Martin Ellis from Halifax said: "At a national level, house prices have been very stable over the past year or so. This can largely be explained by the static nature of supply and demand conditions during this period. Looking forward, we expect little change in prices over the remainder of 2012 so long as the economic climate in the UK does not worsen substantially."
The average UK house price is now worth £161,094, 0.8 per cent higher than in December 2011. Overall, house prices across the UK are at a very similar level to their position in the summer of 2009.