Average house price in August slips slightly to £155,968

All regions experienced a decrease in their average property values over the last 12 months. The region with the most significant annual price fall was the North West with a movement of -12.7%.

Hartlepool experienced the greatest annual price fall with a drop of 23.7%.

Although the most up-to-date figures available show that during June 2009 the number of completed house sales in England and Wales fell by 17% to 48,903 from 58,636 in June 2008, monthly sales in England and Wales have risen steadily during the first half of the year – up from 26,517 in January.

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Responding to the figures, David Brown, Commercial Director of LSL Property services said: "Here is a further indication that the housing market is beginning to stabilise.

"Even though the small monthly decline seems like a blow to the housing market’s recovery, the annual decline has slowed significantly. And things look brighter for investors.

"LSL’s data suggests that over the last three months, prices of let properties have recovered by 2.9% – equivalent to an annualised increase of 12.3%. With house prices stabilising, and rents continuing to rise there is a golden opportunity for property investors to seize with both hands.

"By broadening their portfolios, they might jump on the bandwagon whilst rental demand is peaking.

"But the outlook isn’t rosy for everyone. Several factors are still holding back the numbers of completions: a colossal shortage of stock; continued tight mortgage lending; and borrowers’ need for substantial deposits. If lenders begin to open their purse strings to homebuyers and investors, we may see the market hit the early stages of recovery. As it is, many frustrated borrowers continue to rely on rented accommodation."

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