House prices stabilise in fourth quarter

House prices stabilised in the fourth quarter of 2012 and more houses were sold, according to Rabobank economists in their latest report on the housing market.

Most of the improvement was due to changes to mortgage tax relief brought in on January 1, with buyers keen to sign contracts ahead of that date, says the report.

The rush to buy put sellers in a better position, leading to a fall in price of just 0.7%, far below the 3.7% in the third quarter.

However, the Rabobank expects house prices to continue their downward trend throughout 2013. Stabilisation of the market will not occur until 2014.