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The outlook of the gloomy UK housing market is getting worse, according to figures from major mortgage lender Halifax.

The latest housing index report from the bank shows that house prices fell by 0.7% in October to an average of £158,426.

This was the fifth consecutive month that house prices have fallen. Property prices were 1.2% lower in October compared to the last quarter.

The report shows that house prices are now 1.7% lower than they were a year ago; however there is a modest rise in mortgage approvals.

Martin Ellis, housing economist, commented:

"Signs of a modest deterioration in the trend in house prices continued in October. Prices in the three months to October were 1.2% lower than in the preceding three months.

"The weak economic background has been a key factor dampening housing demand this year. Recent encouraging developments relating to the level of overall economic activity and conditions in the labour market, however, may help to support demand and underpin house prices around current levels over the coming months."

The UK housing market has taken a huge hit since the economic downturn and a number of homeowners have seen the value of their properties shrink against the size their mortgage.

Some of those have fallen into negative equity which leaves them trapped in a property with a mortgage that precedes the value of the house.

Despite this, there has been some movement within the housing market. The stamp duty holiday, which ended in March, caused a flurry of activity to the market as buyers snap up properties without paying the stamp duty.

You could pump value into your property by updating your doors and windows. This instantly gives the property a face-lift and could help to increase energy efficiency.

The Sash Window Workshop offers a vast choice of window refurbishment services.

This includes everything from refurbishing the whole timber window to minor repairs, provided the windows in question are considered worth preserving.

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