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UK house prices fall for first time since June 2015

Staff Writer |
UK house prices fell month-on-month this month for the first time in almost two years, according to a survey by Nationwide, knocking the annual growth to a 19-month low and adding to economist's predictions that growth will moderate over 2017.

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The building society reported a 0.3% month-on-month decline in its house price index to 415.3, after taking account of seasonal effects, following the hefty increase of 0.6% to 416.7 in February and 0.2% rise in January.

However, the average house price in the UK, which is not seasonally adjusted, was £207,308 in March, up from £205,846 in February.

On an annual basis prices retreated to 3.5%, having inched back up to 4.5% in February from 4.3% in January, having been as high as as 5.6% last August.

The three-month growth rate dipped to 1.0% in March after picking up to 1.1% in February from the lows of 0.7% in both January and December.

Nationwide also noted that latest English Housing Survey from DCLG revealed a further decline in the home ownership rate to its lowest recorded rate since 1985, falling to 62.9% in 2016.

Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said there was a mixed picture across the UK in the first quarter of 2017, with six regions seeing the pace of house price growth accelerate, six a deceleration and only the East Midlands recording the same rate as the previous quarter.

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