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House prices down 0.6% in June

House prices fell 0.6% in June, taking the average house price down to £165,738, according to Nationwide.

House prices are now 1.5% lower than one year ago – the lowest reading since August 2009.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, says: “The slightly weaker trend we’ve observed since March is unsurprising, given the difficult economic backdrop, with the UK economy dipping back into recession at the start of the year and few signs of a near-term rebound.

“Part of the weakness in house prices may also relate to the ending of the Stamp Duty holiday in March, which provided a temporary boost in early 2012, as buyers brought forward purchases that would otherwise have taken place later in the year.

“The outlook for house prices remains highly uncertain. Economic conditions are expected to remain challenging over the next twelve months. However, policymakers’ efforts to bolster the supply of credit to the economy and to help lower the cost should provide support to demand. Moreover, the supply side of the market is still constrained, with construction failing to keep pace with the number of new households being formed.”

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