House prices fell by 0.1% in November but there are predictions the market may be stabilising, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

Property prices in the three months to November were 0.7% lower than a year earlier, which was their first annual decline since November 2009 (see the Free House Price Valuation guide).

However, Halifax says there are signs homeowners are becoming more reluctant to put properties on the market, which would help slow the recent quarterly falls in house prices.

The month-on-month decline in November took the average house price to £164,708 and followed a record 3.7% fall in September and a 1.8% increase in October.

Halifax says the varied monthly pattern is consistent with a relatively flat underlying trend for house prices.

The three month-on-three month figures are generally seen as smoother indicator of the market because they strip out some of the monthly fluctuations.

Prices in the three months to November were 2.1% lower than the preceding three months.

Last month, Halifax reported prices showed a 1.2% quarter-on-quarter decline, the biggest fall since June 2009.

But Halifax pointed out that the quarterly declines were well below the declines of 5% to 6% in the second half of 2008.

It does not expect to see a significant fall in prices and believes interest rates will remain low for an extended period, which will help mortgage availability.

There has been great volatility in the housing market in recent months as a smaller-than-normal number of properties for sale leads to big monthly fluctuations in prices.

Further reading/Key links

Valuation Loophole: Free House Price Valuation
Cut home loan debt: The Free Remortgage Guide, The Free Mortgage Guide
Latest House Prices: Nationwide, Land Registry, Halifax