Prices in April are down 0.9% on the same month last year according to Hometrack

House prices have fallen year on year for the first time since 2006 according to property data company Hometrack.

The house price figures for April are the first of any to record a year on year fall since the start of the credit crunch.

The Hometrack figures show prices down 0.9% in April on the same month last year, compared to a 0.4% rise in March. The finding is symbolic because although house prices have now been falling slowly since last autumn, this is the first evidence that prices are now lower than they were a year ago.

In addition the survey showed the property downturn is spreading geographically, with 51.4% of postcode districts registering a fall over the month, compared to just 28.8% in March.

The average time a property is spending on the market is also rising, from 8.5 to 9.1 weeks in April, with 2.8% fewer buyers registering with estate agents than in March.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack’s Director of Research, said: “While the availability of finance is impacting on demand in certain segments, the reality is that weak confidence is effectively resulting in a ‘buyers strike’ with households sitting on the sidelines and waiting to see how events unfold.”