Slight fall in house prices

House and percents

House prices remained fairly stagnant in September, only falling by an average of 0.4%, according to Nationwide's latest house price index.

This follows August's record rise of 1.1% – the largest increase since January 2010.

The price of the average property in the UK now stands at £163,964, down from £164,729 in August.

It is also 1.4% lower than a year ago.

In the three months to September, homeowners in 10 out of 13 regions in the UK will have seen a fall in the price of their property.

Northern Ireland saw the biggest fall in house prices this quarter with prices dropping by 2.4%. It was followed by Scotland and East Anglia, where prices fell by 1.6% and 1.2% respectively.

In contrast, homeowners in the North experienced a 1.8% rise in during this time period.

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Market to remain flat

In the short-term experts expect activity in the housing market to pick up, as buyers push to move in to new homes by Christmas. However, they believe the market will remain flat over the longer term.

Matthew Turner, director of Astute Property Search, says: "While the monthly fluctuations are deceptive, the property market has been largely flat over the last year as first-time buyers and people with smaller deposits continue to struggle to get mortgages."

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, adds that he expects "house prices remaining relatively flat or declining only modestly" over the next 12 months.