Housing market still in freefall

Homeowners were given another incentive to improve their properties rather than look to move with the news that house prices fell again during January.

According to the latest Financial Times House Price Index (FTHPI), house prices suffered a 1.4 per cent dip during the first month of 2009 – a fact that could lead to some homeowners deciding to invest in a quality conservatory or kitchen extension rather than moving to a larger property.

The dip marks the 11th consecutive month of falling prices and represents a 12.2 per cent year-on-year decline.

Acadametrics carried out the survey on behalf of the newspaper and chairman Dr Peter Williams explained that the market seems to be in dire straits.

"The annual rate of change of the FTHPI, at -12.2 per cent, represents the largest fall ever that we have reported, and this is the 17th month in succession in which the annual rate has again fallen in nominal terms."

Not only did house prices fall in general, each of the ten regions across England and Wales all recorded a dip in prices during January.

The news comes less than a week after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported that buyer interest across the UK increased for the third successive month in January.