HOUSE prices in Yorkshire have fallen slightly – as sellers become more realistic about how much they can get for their properties.
Figures from Nationwide Building Society showed the average price of a property in the region fell by 2.5% to £131,046 over the course of 2012 and by 1.1% during the final quarter of the year.
The study also found evidence that the North-South divide in England is widening, with the price of a typical home in the south now about £95,000 higher than the average in the north.
Across the UK, house prices fell by 0.1% month-on-month in December. Nationwide said prices were likely to remain flat or edge lower still during 2013.
The average price of a house in the UK stands at £162,262 – down by 1% on 2012 and reversing a 1% increase recorded in 2011.
Raymond Butterworth, of estate agency Boultons in Huddersfield, said the figures for Yorkshire reflected the local trend.
“There has been a bit of a drop in the last quarter, but interestingly, sales levels have held up,” he said.
“That reflects an understanding by the public that these are the prices and if they want to sell, that’s as good as it will get.”
Mr Butterworth said the agency had been busy concluding sales in time for Christmas while negotiations and viewing levels had been good.
He said: “We are not expecting too much change on the price of property in the new year and we are quietly confident that sales levels will increase on last year.”
The Nationwide survey showed that prices in England declined by 0.4% during 2012 to reach £186,390.
Wales saw a 2.7% annual fall in prices to reach £131,630 on average and prices dipped by 3.3% in Scotland to £131,795.
Prices plummeted by 8.2% in Northern Ireland year-on-year to £104,282, leaving them more than 50% below their 2007 highs.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said the market was likely to remain sluggish due to the difficult economy.
He said: “With the economic recovery expected to remain fairly weak, the housing market is likely to be characterised by low levels of activity again in 2013 with prices remaining flat or modestly lower over the course of the year”.