House prices continue to slide

The property market continued to fall during September as the Government's stamp duty initiative failed to have a significant impact on the market, figures have revealed.

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The average asking price for homes in England and Wales dropped 1% to £227,438 during the five weeks to September 13, according to property website Rightmove.

But there was less of a fall compared to each of the previous three months, with the annual rate of decline easing to 3.3%, compared with 4.8% in August.

The figures are the first to be released after the Government's £1 billion package to help homeowners and buyers was announced. This included abolishing stamp duty on properties costing up to £175,000 for a year.

The statistics show there was an increase in the number of properties coming on to the market costing between the old threshold of £125,000 and the new one of £175,000 of only 0.5% .

However, a 5% fall in the number of homes priced between £175,000 and £200,000 was reported.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "The housing market is on its knees and will remain so until financial institutions address the disastrous state of the mortgage funding markets."

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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