Housing market survey finds average property price down 8.1% in past 12 months

The average price of a house in the UK has fallen 8.1% in the past 12 months, according to a survey by Hometrack.

Property values are now on par with January 2006, according to the survey, with the average price of a house standing at £161,000.

In November, house prices fell 1.1%, slightly less than in the month before when they fell 1.3%.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said the market is close to bottoming out. He said: "All the indicators from the latest survey point to a continued fall in property prices in the short term. A weak economic outlook and limited availability of mortgages are set to keep prices under downward pressure in 2009."

The news comes as RBS announced it will allow struggling homeowners up to six months of non-payment on their mortgages before starting repossession procedures.

RBS, which owns NatWest, controls around 7% of the UK mortgage market.