Hopes of a quick turnround in the housing market were dashed yesterday after two new surveys underscored the continued decline in UK house prices, with the average home now changing hands at prices last seen in 2004.

The Nationwide building society’s house price index showed a 0.4% drop in April, after showing a rise of 0.9% in March amid conflicting signals from other house price indices. Yesterday’s fall left the price of an average house at 18.4% below the peak in October 2007.

The Land Registry’s official index for March, which includes transactions that may have happened up to three months earlier, showed a similar 0.4% drop.

However, it contained good news for London home owners – prices in the capital rose in March for the first time in a year.

Financial Times, The Times