RTTNews - Wednesday, Lloyds Banking Group Plc's Halifax division reported that UK house prices declined 0.5% month-on-month in June, after a 2.6% increase in the previous month. In contrast, economists were looking for a monthly increase of 0.3%.

According to Halifax, the mixed picture of monthly rises and falls so far this year contrasts sharply with the consistent succession of significant monthly declines recorded in 2008.

In the three months to April, house prices were down 15% year-on-year in June, the lowest since November 2008. The annual rate of change was slightly less than the 16.3% drop in May, improving for the second straight month. Economists had expected a decline of 14.5%.

The report also said house prices were down 1.9% in the second quarter, marking the smallest quarterly decline since the first quarter of 2008 and much less than the 5%-6% falls seen in the last three quarters of 2008.

These figures provide evidence that the underlying pace of house price decline is easing, Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax said. Going forward, a continuing mixed pattern of monthly house price rises and falls are expected over the remainder of 2009, the economist added.

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