UK house prices fall for first time since August, retail also down
The figures from Halifax marked the first monthly decline since August of last year and followed a 1.6% surge in December.
However, compared to the same month a year ago, house prices continued to climb, rising 5.7%. In December, prices grew an annualised 6.5%.
A shortage of properties for sale and low levels of house building have sent prices sky high, making it more difficult for first time buyers to get on the ladder.
UK retail sales slumped in January and the industry warned of a new caution for consumers due to rising inflation.
January's BRC-KMPW retail sales monitor showed sales dropping 0.6% on a like-for-like basis, with total sales rising 0.1%.
The sector fared badly in comparison to the strong start last year, when LFL sales increased 2.6% and total sales 3.3%, while total sales were well below the 3-month average of 1.1% and the 12-month average of 0.9%.
Over the last three months, LFL food sales increased 0.6% and 2.0% on a total basis, above the 12-month average.
Non-food rose 0.2% and 0.3%, below its 12-month total average growth of 0.8% and the lowest since July 2012, with only furniture sales showing any vigour.
Many retailers reported an increase in the number of returns received in January. ■