Annual growth lowest since May 1996 as market continues to slow.

UK house prices fell again in September, down 0.2% on the previous month, bringing the year-on-year increase to just 1.8%, the lowest increase since May 1996.

According to building society Nationwide, the average price of a UK house is now £156,517. It says that August’s 0.25% drop in interest rates - to 4.5% - may help to give the housing market a boost, and estate agents remain optimistic that the levelling out of prices will continue smoothly.

Nationwide’s group economist Fionnula Earley said: “estate agents have consistently reported increased buyer interest over the last few months, which should help to support the market going forward. We are likely to see a continuing smooth slow down as lower price inflation attracts more demand, and thus liquidity, into the market.”