Latest figures showing rise in price of terraced houses, flats and bungalows illustrate constricted supply

UK house prices remained virtually unchanged between April and May this year according to government figures versus a fall of nearly 1% over the same period last year.

Data released by the communities department today showed that the average house price was £159,100 in April against £159,200 in April, down 0.1%. From April to May 2008, prices fell 0.8%

There was a rise in the price of terraced houses (1%), flats (1.6%) and bungalows (0.2%) in May this year. The net depreciation was due to a fall in the price of detached houses by 1.5%.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said the figures illustrated a constriction of supply:

“The lack of new instructions of property to agents is providing a key element of support for the market. This has helped to push the RICS' Sales to Stock ratio, a leading indicator of the demand supply balance in the housing market, higher for six consecutive months.

“It still, however, remains at a historically low level which warrants some caution about just how sustainable any improvement in the pricing climate is likely to prove."

House prices were down 13% year-on-year in May.