House prices are down by 0.6% in July as experts predict further downward pressure on the housing market

House prices in the UK have fallen in July for the first time since December 2009, the latest Rightmove House Price Index has shown today.

New sellers have dropped asking prices by 0.6% since June. The average price for a UK property now stands at £236,332, down from £237,767 last month.

House prices are still up on July 2009 levels, with an annual rise of nearly 4%. House prices in Greater London are up 4.8% compared with last year.

However, Rightmove forecasts a sharp downturn for house prices in the second half of 2010. Predictions state that the gains of 7% recorded in the first half of 2010 will be erased, with the number of mortgage approvals falling and 45% more properties coming onto the market per week than in July 2009.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: “The number of new mortgages being approved each month is less than half the number of new sellers, with the imbalance being exacerbated by the increase of nearly 50% in the number of properties coming to market compared to a year ago.

“More aggressive pricing is now the order of the day, which means that conditions are ripe for a strong buyers’ market in the second half of 2010.”