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House prices have remained broadly the same since the start of 2012 as activity in the UK housing market shows little sign of picking up.
Month-to-month changes in prices have been volatile, according to the two lenders, owing to the very low levels of sales.
The latest figures from the Land Registry showed that the average home in England and Wales cost £161,588 in February.
Wealthy foreigners have continued to invest in the London property market, where average prices are much higher than the rest of the UK.Continue reading the main story
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- Numerous house price indexes are published, which often have different methods of calculating values and how they have changed
- Two of the UK's biggest mortgage lenders - the Halifax, now part of Lloyds Banking Group, and the Nationwide, produce the first estimates of house prices each month - each based on their own mortgage data
- The Land Registry is widely recognised as the most comprehensive survey in England and Wales, as it is based on the end of the buying process when a transaction is registered
- Responsibility for calculating the government's measure of house prices has now transferred from the Department for Communities and Local Government to the Office for National Statistics.
- Other surveys consider the confidence of estate agents, asking prices among sellers, or prices quoted on websites
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The average price of a home in the UK peaked in late 2007, then plunged rapidly in 2008 before recovering in 2009 and then reaching a plateau in 2010 and 2011.
The housing market was the first area to be affected by the credit crunch as banks curtailed their lending, making it more difficult for buyers to get a mortgage.
This has continued, with banks uneasy about the eurozone crisis, and has meant property values have failed to pick up. Demand has also been low, especially among first-time buyers who have struggled to get a mortgage or are concerned about job security.
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The whole financial crisis had started in the US housing market where banks had lent money to "sub-prime" borrowers.
When these borrowers defaulted on their mortgages in large numbers, the banks were left with bad debts - many of which had been packaged up and sold on to other financial institutions.
This infected the entire financial system and meant that banks stopped lending to each other - creating the credit crunch.
The first UK bank to be affected by the seizing up of financial markets was Northern Rock, which had to be rescued by the British government.
A lack of mortgages meant the market started to stagnate and the properties that did change hands went for less than they would have done a few months previously.
Some homeowners who have taken out mortgages with a high loan-to-value ratio or borrowed extra money against the value of their houses are facing the prospect of negative equity.