Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 12:25 UK

House prices decline again in May

For Sale signs
House prices are still falling

House prices in England and Wales fell slightly again last month, according to figures from the Land Registry.

The average house price in May fell by 0.2% from April to £152,497, while the annual rate of decline was 15.9%.

This was a slight slowdown on the 16.2% year-on-year drop recorded for both April and March.

The latest Land Registry data comes a week after the Council of Mortgage Lenders said lending levels across the UK fell back again in May.

North East hit

All regions of England saw annual prices fall again May, with the North East posting the sharpest decline - down 17.2%.

Wales +1.2%
East +1.1%
North West +1%
West Midlands +1%
South East +0.5%
South West -0.2%
East Midlands -1%
London -1.5%
Yorkshire & the Humber -2.3%
North East -4.3%
Source: Land Registry

The North East also saw the biggest month-on-month fall, with May prices 4.3% lower than April.

However, Wales and four English regions - East, North West, West Midlands, South East - saw prices increase in May compared with April.

The Land Registry also said that the average number of property transactions totalled 31,091 between December of last year and March, half the number a year earlier.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said the Land Registry figures offered "more evidence that the housing market is stabilising", pointing to the easing of the annual rate of price decline.

While the Land Registry said house prices in England and Wales fell again last month, earlier UK-wide surveys from both the Halifax and Nationwide said sales rose in May.

The Halifax said average UK prices rose by 2.6% in May, while the Nationwide said prices gained 1.2%.

Those figures track mortgage approvals, which generally run ahead of the Land Registry figures based on actual sales.

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