UK house prices
House prices in the UK fell in April after the end of a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers and with poor weather limiting viewings (Reuters)

UK house prices dropped at their quickest rate for six months in April, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in yet another set of worrying data for Britain's homeowners.

Poor weather and the end of a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers in March dragged UK house prices down as viewings dwindled and demand slipped.

"With the recent surge in activity brought on by [the] stamp duty holiday coming to an end, it is unsurprising to see that prices across much of the country are continuing to fall," Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said.

The RICS seasonally adjusted house price balance fell to -19 in April from the previous month's -11.

Surveyors expect further UK house price falls in the near future, followed by a period of flat prices, as fresh fears over the health of the economy cause consumers' wallets to clam up.

Britain is back in recession, according to preliminary GDP data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), after projections that the economy contracted 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 follow a confirmed fourth quarter contraction of 0.3 percent.

"Renewed concerns over the economy and talk of a double-dip recession dominating the headlines in recent weeks may well have served to undermine consumer confidence," Bolton King said.

Halifax House Price Index falls at fastest pace in a year

British bank Halifax also recently reported falling house prices in the UK.

Halifax's House Price Index, Britain's longest-running monthly measure of house prices, plunged by 2.4 percent in April - its sharpest decline in a year.

The average cost of a UK home is now £159,883.

This represents a 0.5 percent annual decline in value, Halifax said.

"The ending of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers in late March appears to have boosted home sales early this year as buyers strove to beat the deadline, and has probably contributed to the volatility in house prices in the last few months," Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said.

"We continue to expect little overall movement in prices as the UK economic situation remains challenging."