Nationwide warns of recession as house price drop doubles

Times Online -- Nationwide, the UK's biggest building society, today gave warning that a recession could be on the way after the average house price in the year to July plunged to a three-year low of £169,316. The average price of a home is now £15,000 lower than in July last year.

Nationwide said that over the course of this year, house prices have fallen nine months in a row, and in July declined by 1.7 per cent, more than double June’s 0.8 per cent fall.

Yesterday, it emerged that 1.7 million homeowners in the UK face falling into negative equity if house prices plunge by an expected 17 per cent.

Standard & Poor's (S&P), the credit rating agency, said that 70,000 homeowners already have mortgage debt higher than the value of their homes.

However, S&P expects the price of an average house to fall by a further 17 per cent into next year, plunging one in six homeowners into negative equity.