House prices in Britain continue to decline and are currently at August 2004 levels, Halifax, the country's largest mortgage lender and leading housing researcher, said Friday.
House prices fell by an additional 2.2 percent in December 2008 after dropping 2.7 percent in November and 2.4 percent in October, according to the latest data by Halifax.
The house prices saw a year-on-year decline of 18.9 percent in December, the sharpest decrease since records began in 1983.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England reported that seasonally adjusted mortgage approvals for house purchases declined to 27,000in November, the lowest level since records began in 1993.
The data showed that housing market activity and house prices are still under severe downward pressures, said the economic forecasting company IHS Global Insight.
Ongoing unfavorable fundamentals suggested that the year 2009 is unlikely to be a happy new year for the housing sector, said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
He said there was a powerful set of negative factors weighing on the housing market, including continuing tight credit conditions, rising unemployment and widespread expectations that house prices are likely to fall more.
IHS Global Insight predicted that house prices in Britain will fall by an additional 15 percent in 2009.
(Xinhua News Agency January 2, 2009)