House prices 'will continue to fall'
Edited by Tom Bardsley.
Conditions in the residential property
market have "weakened noticeably" in the past six months and prices look set to continue falling, Nationwide has said.
Issuing the mortgage lender's half-year financial report covering until the end of September, chief executive Graham Beale claimed demand for housing is likely to remain subdued for the foreseeable future because of "uncertainty surrounding the implementation of fiscal tightening measures".
In addition, he said the number of homes for sale is "significantly higher" than it was last year and the imbalance between supply and demand will continue to exert downward pressure on prices.
However, Mr. Beale added, large falls on the scale of those seen in 2008 are "unlikely" as interest rates are expected to remain low until at least late 2011, which will limit mortgage arrears and distressed sales.
According to Nationwide's most recent House Price Index, the average cost of a property in the UK fell by 0.7 per cent between September and October to stand at £164,381.