Official figures put house prices down an annual 10.2%
Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show UK house prices falling 2.3% in December.
Detached homes were at the forefront of the decline with the average value falling by 4.1% during the month.
Meanwhile, terraced houses lost 0.8%; flats were down an average 2.4%; bungalows and semi-detached homes down by 2.3% and 2% respectively.
In December, the annual rate of house price decline stood at 10.2%, marking the first occasion on which the DCLG has recorded a double-digit drop since its records began, in 2003.
By comparison, Nationwide reported earlier that the average cost of a UK home fell by an annual 15.9% in December, with values taking a 2.5% dip during the month.
According to the DCLG, the market downturn appears to be escalating because data covering the three months to the end of 2008 show prices falling by an average 6.4%, compared with a 3% drop during the third quarter of the year.
On a regional basis, Scotland and the North East have been least afflicted with the average cost of a home falling by an annual 6% in the former and 8.9% in the latter.
In Northern Ireland the average value of a home plummeted by 17.9% and in the East Midlands and South East prices have fallen by 11.5% and 11.3% respectively.
It should be noted that DCLG figures lag behind those of other commentators on the market because like the Land Registry’s, they are based on completed transactions.