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House prices in England fall for first time in seven years

Christian Fernsby |
House prices in England fell for the first time in seven years in the first quarter as London prices dropped at the fastest pace since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

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The average selling price fell in England dropped 0.7% to £255,683 in the first three months of 2019 as London prices fell 3.8% - the steepest drop since 2009 when the UK was in recession. Prices in the outer London suburbs fell 2% and in the rest of the South East they declined 1.1%, according to Nationwide.

London prices have been falling for almost two years but rising values in other regions had kept prices rising overall in England. Prices rose in all English regions outside the South East in the first quarter but a deepening decline in London - from 0.8% the previous quarter - sent the overall picture for England into decline for the first time since 2012.

Nationwide said prices fell as consumer confidence dipped early in 2019 - a trend attributed in part to uncertainty over Brexit. In February new buyer enquiries for properties fell to the lowest since 2008. High prices and changes to taxation of rented properties also played a part in London, Nationwide said.

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