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House prices down 0.9%

UK house prices are now almost one per cent less than they were a year ago, following a seventh consecutive monthly decline.Data from house price information group Hometrack shows that the average price of a home in England and Wales fell by 0.6 per cent during April. This brought the average value of a home to £173,100 - 0.9 per cent less than it would have been worth in April 2007.Further evidence of the slowdown in the sector was also provided by the study's finding that sellers were forced to accept around 92.7 per cent of their asking price during the month. Meanwhile, the average time it took to sell a home increased from six weeks to nine weeks. Richard Donnell, director of research at the company, said: "Weak confidence is effectively resulting in a 'buyers' strike', with households waiting to see how events unfold."As we predicted last year, transaction volumes will be the big casualty."There now seems the prospect of a record low in residential sales volumes in 2008."

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