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House prices fall for fifth month on weaker demand

Biggest month-on-month fall in house prices since January 2009

Britain's housing market continued to weaken, with prices falling for the fifth month in a row in November, as a marked drop in the number of new buyers undermined the market, according to property intelligence group Hometrack.

The average cost of a house fell 0.8 per cent from October to £155,000 while demand for houses, measured by the change in new buyers registering with real-estate agents, fell 4.3 per cent, the biggest decline since January 2009.

While 54 per cent of postcode districts have recorded falling house prices over the past month, just 0.1 per cent reported a rise, the property analyst said.

Hometrack said it now expected the weak supply to result in prices falling by 2 per cent by the end of 2011. Supply already appears to be tightening, with the number of homes for sale falling by 0.4 per cent over the past month, the first drop for nine months.

Surveys by other property analysts were also pointing to falling prices. Official figures from the Land Registry last week revealed that UK house prices fell by an average of 0.8 per cent in October.