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Financial News: U.K. House Prices Fall For First Time In

U.K. House Prices Fall For First Time In 5 Months

02/07/2017 - 04:09:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - U.K. house prices declined for the first time in five months in January, survey data from the mortgage lender Halifax and IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

House prices fell 0.9 percent in January from December, while prices were expected to remain flat. This was the first drop since August and followed December's 1.6 percent increase.

During November to January, house prices advanced 2.4 percent from prior quarter after rising 2.5 percent in three months to December, which was the fastest growth since March 2016.

On a yearly basis, house prices climbed 5.7 percent but slower than December's 6.5 percent increase. The annual rate was well below the 10 percent peak reached in March 2016.

UK house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of property for sale, low levels of housebuilding, and exceptionally low interest rates, Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said.

These factors are unlikely to change materially during 2017. Nonetheless, the economist noted that weaker economic growth and increasing pressure on spending power, along with affordability constraints, are expected to dampen housing demand, resulting in some downward pressure on annual house price growth during the year.

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