House prices fell in 2012

Dropped 1 per cent, according to Nationwide.

New Statesman
Nationwide expects the downwards trend to continue into 2013. Photograph: Getty Images

Average house prices fell one per cent last year, according to a report by Nationwide.

The fall followed a one per cent increase in the average house price in 2011, and Nationwide said it expected the downwards trend to continue into 2013.

Here's the BBC report:

The Nationwide said that conditions in the housing market remained "fragile", despite positive jobs news, with wages growing more slowly than the cost of living.

"The uncertain outlook for the wider economy is also likely to have kept many potential buyers on the sidelines, unwilling to make a major financial commitment until they feel more optimistic about the future," said Robert Gardner, the Nationwide's chief economist.

Low interest rates may have protected the housing market from falling even further, but the outlook is bleak:

Mr Gardner predicted that activity would remain low in 2013, and prices would remain the same or dropping slightly throughout the year.