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House prices 'fall for sixth month'

The average cost of a home in England and Wales fell 0.4 per cent in December, down for the sixth consecutive month, driven by a lack of demand, according to new figures released by housing intelligence group Hometrack.

Demand dropped 4.8 per cent during December, also down for the sixth month in a row.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said: "The seasonal slowdown which began at the beginning of November continued apace into December."

Overall house prices fell 1.6 per cent over 2010, with 71 per cent of the country seeing values ending lower than at the start of the year.

However, across 15 per cent of the country, particularly London and the South East, December prices were higher than they were at the start of 2010.

On the supply side, the number of homes available in the market fell 1.5 per cent in December, registering the second consecutive monthly drop.

During the whole of 2010, the supply of homes for sale grew 24 per cent, while demand fell seven per cent. In the final six months of the year, the property market saw an 18 per cent decline in demand.

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