July 1, 2008 12:00 AM

Commenting on house price figures released today by Nationwide, Jenny Willott, Lib Dem Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary and MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"Welsh homeowners are now bearing the brunt of the housing market downturn. With house prices in Wales falling faster than England or Scotland.

"Welsh house prices have dipped below Scottish house prices for the first time in eight years. The average price for a house in Wales is now £143,000 compared to £149,000 in Scotland and £191,000 in England.

"While this is a boost for first time buyers in Wales, homeowners are facing rising mortgage repayments and some are heading into negative equity. Over the last few months, we have seen the number of mortgage possession orders across Wales rise by 26%.

"With hundreds of thousands across Wales struggling to make ends meet in the face of massive debts and spiralling food and fuel prices, the only people selling their houses are those who have no choice.

"While the UK economy is struggling as a whole, the evidence suggests that Wales is feeling the pain earlier and more severely than most. The Government must act to ensure we do not see the mass repossessions of people's homes which occurred during the last Tory recession."

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