October sees fastest rate of fall in house prices since April 2009 according to Nationwide index

House prices in the UK fell at a faster rate this month, continuing a downward trend that began in the summer.

According to figures released today by the Nationwide, house prices in October fell by 0.7% taking the three month fall to 1.5%, the largest since April 2009.

However, the fall is still well below the 5-6% quarterly drops seen during the second half of 2008. The average price of a house is now £164,381, compared to £166,757 in September.

Martin Gahbauer, chief economist at the Nationwide said if the recent trend in house prices were to continue through November and December, the annual rate of house price inflation would drop to between 0% and -1% by the end of the year.

However, he added that further quantitative easing could boost the housing market.

He said: “It is impossible to say at this stage whether additional quantitative easing would fully offset the various headwinds currently facing the housing market, including the impact of the measures announced in the comprehensive spending review. On balance, however, it is reasonable to expect that a resumption of quantitative easing would provide some offsetting support to the housing market.”