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House prices fall 0.4%, reveals Nationwide

The average house price fell to £151,861 in April, reveals Nationwide's latest House Price Index.

Prices are now 15% down on April 2008 (£178,555).

Fionnuala Earley (pictured), Nationwide's chief economist, says: "The price of a typical house fell by 0.4% in April. This reverses some of the rise seen in March, but is in line with our expectations."

However, she adds: "The three-month on three-month rate of change, generally a smoother indicator of the short-term trend in prices, improved to -3.1% in April from -4.1% in March."

The Index says that the falling house prices means that more first-time buyers are exempt from the newly-extended Stamp Duty holiday.

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced an extension of the Stamp Duty holiday for all properties up to £175,000 to the end of the year in his Budget Report last week.

According to Earley, the average house price is now below the £175,000 limit in every UK region apart from London and the outer metropolitan area.

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