Figures show blots on the landscape for house prices

House prices fell in the North and the West Midlands in December as market activity dampened, exposing those regions where the recovery has been weakest. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), last month’s figures showed five per cent more surveyors in the West Midlands reporting prices falling rather than rising, and seven per cent more in the North. The industry body added the East Midlands and Northern Ireland to its list of areas at risk of further immediate falls. Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: ‘These regions have been among the weakest for months. The best we can say is that they have stabilised lately.’