UK house prices drop further 2.3% in February

"Whilst market activity remains at very low levels, there are some tentative signs that activity may be beginning to stabilise.

"The house price to earnings ratio – a key measure of housing affordability – has fallen to its lowest level for six years.

"Continuing pressures on incomes, rising unemployment and the negative impact of the dislocation of the financial markets on the availability of mortgage finance are, however, likely to mean that 2009 will be another difficult year for the housing market."

The Halifax House Price Index is the UK’s longest-running monthly house price series with data covering the whole country going back to January 1983.

From this data, a "standardised" house price is calculated and property price movements on a like-for-like basis (including
seasonal adjustments) are analysed over time. The annual change is calculated as an average for the latest three months compared with the same period a year earlier.

This provides a better picture of the underlying trend compared to a monthly year-on-year number as it smoothes
out any short-term fluctuations.

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