House prices fall for fifth month in a row…

House prices in the UK fell for the fifth month in a row in January, according to Nationwide Building Society.

The price of the average property last month was £258,297, down by 0.6% on December.

Annual house price growth slowed to 1.1%, down from 2.8% in December.

The country’s biggest building society said it would be “hard for the market to regain much momentum in the near term.”

Chief economist Robert Gardner said “economic headwinds are set to remain strong, with real earnings likely to fall further and the labour market widely projected to weaken as the economy shrinks”.

On Tuesday, the Bank of England reported lenders had approved fewer mortgages than expected in December, about 35,000 compared with more than 46,000 in November.

Mr Gardner said that the fall in approvals “largely reflects the sharp decline in mortgage applications” following the government’s mini-Budget in September.

There were “some encouraging signs that mortgage rates are normalising, but it is too early to tell whether activity in the housing market has started to recover”, he added.