Average cost of a UK home falls 0.2% in August.

The latest figures from the Nationwide building society show that house prices are rising at their slowest rate for nine years, going up just 2.3% during the year ending August 31. The building society said that prices had fallen 0.2% in the last month, wiping out the gains made in July, and bringing the average price of a property in the UK to £157,310.

Mortgage approvals for the month were up on the same period last year, but Nationwide’s group economist Fionnuala Earley warned that this did not signal the start of another period of growth in the market.

"House prices increased in eight out of the last 12 months, but the general path of house price inflation continues to be soft," she said.

“It will be some time before we can expect prices and activity to return to the growth rates seen in the last two years. We can expect a sustained period of unexciting movements in house prices before consumers’ financial balance sheets are restored to more comfortable levels."

Nationwide that affordability, especially for first-time buyers, was still a major issue, despite wage inflation running at twice the pace of house price rises.