House prices fall as confidence ebbs away

City A.M. Reporter
The fall in house prices in England and Wales accelerated in October as consumers become increasingly worried about the outlook for the economy and shy away from buying homes, property data firm Hometrack said.

Average prices dipped 0.2 per cent on the month compared to falls of 0.1 per cent in each of the five preceding months, Hometrack said. House prices were 2.8 per cent below the October 2010 level.

"Growing consumer concern over the outlook for the economy is beginning to impact directly on house prices," Hometrack Director of Research Richard Donnell said in a statement.

As in previous releases, the survey showed large regional differences, although prices stalled even in London after rising for seven months in a row.

"The evidence is clear that buyers are drifting away from the market in the face of weak consumer confidence and concerns over the prospects for the economy and their household finances," Donnell said.

Hometrack said that while demand eased, supply had grown by 11 per cent over the past six months. "The balance between supply and demand is clearly shifting and points to an acceleration in price falls in the coming months," Donnell said.