Halifax survey records 2.5% fall in average house price to £191,556 in March

House prices fell 2.5% in March, the largest monthly fall since 1992, according to the Halifax.

The latest Halifax data from the showed prices falling 2.5% in March from February to an average of £191.556, with prices now only 1.1% above what they were at this point last year. West Midlands and Wales suffered the largest price falls.

For the first three months of the year prices were in total 1% down on on the previous quarter.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at the Halifax, said: “House prices fell by 2.5% in March. Prices in 2008 Quarter 1 were 1.0% lower than in 2007 Quarter 4. Overall, we expect there to be a modest fall in UK house prices this year. Any declines, however, should be viewed in the context of the significant price rises over recent years.”

The figures come amid increasing gloom for housebuilders given the continuing contraction of the mortgage market. Yesterday the last provider offering a mainstream 100% mortgage to prospective buyers, building society Abbey National, withdrew the offer.

The Council for Mortgage Lenders said today the number of mortgages arranged for new home purchases in February fell by 30% on the previous year.

Overall the value of home loans fell by 5.1% in February from the previous month, to £7.5 billion.