Nationwide reports record annual drop in value as prices fall 1.8% during February

UK homes have lost on average 17.6% of their value over the past 12 months, according to new figures from Nationwide.

It revealed a fall in house prices of 1.8% during February alone, taking the value of the average UK property down to £147,750.

The lender reported that rising buyer enquiries had yet to translate into an increase in sales, despite interest rates having been repeatedly slashed.

Nationwide's chief economist Fionnuala Earley said: “Further cuts in rates will be welcome in the housing market, but the economic conditions that require them will mean that there is unlikely to be a swift turnaround in the housing market in 2009.”

Halifax recently reported a 1.6% house price rise in January, but warned that not too much should be read into this as the three-monthly figure was still 5.1% down on the previous quarter and 17.2% lower than the same month a year earlier.

However, recent figures from the British Bankers' Association showed a slight rise in mortgage approvals during January, although the figure was still 43% down over the year.