Rise in house prices slows down

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The Independent Online
HOUSE PRICES are rising at their slowest annual rate for more than two years, according to the Nationwide's monthly house price index. Seasonally adjusted figures showed the average house price rising by just 0.1 per cent in November. Annual house price inflation is running at 6.9 per cent, its lowest level since September 1996.

Nationwide said the figure represented a 6 per cent drop on the 14 per cent peak recorded in the first three months of the year.

"Much of the recent slowdown has been due to the fall in consumer confidence since mid-year, rather than an inability on the part of housebuyers to enter the market," said David Parry, divisional director of the society.

Halifax said its own index of house prices, published today, was likely to show "a very small rise or even a slight fall" in house prices. This was because in October, Halifax recorded a 1.2 per cent rise in prices - now thought to be a freak result.