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UK House Prices Barely Grow Ahead Of Brexit: Nationwide

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UK house prices almost stagnated in January as the lingering uncertainties linked to Brexit hurt buyer sentiment.

The house price index edged up 0.1 percent year-on-year following a modest 0.5 percent gain in December, results of a survey by the Nationwide Building Society showed on Thursday.

On a month-on-month basis, house prices rose 0.3 percent, rebounding from a 0.7 percent decline in December.

Economists had forecast stagnation in house prices in annual comparison and a 0.2 percent increase from the previous month.

The average price of a UK house fell to GBP 211,966 in January from GBP 212,281 in December.

Loans approved for house purchase fell to its lowest level in eight months in December, figures from the Bank of England showed on Wednesday.

"It is likely that the recent slowdown is attributable to the impact of the uncertain economic outlook on buyer sentiment, given that it has occurred against a backdrop of solid employment growth, stronger wage growth and continued low borrowing costs," Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said.

"Near term prospects will be heavily dependent on how quickly this uncertainty lifts, but ultimately the outlook for the housing market and house prices will be determined by the performance of the wider economy - especially the labor market."

Gardner also noted that the economic outlook remains unusually uncertain.

The economist predicted a low single-digit pace for house price growth this year, if the UK economy continues to grow at a modest pace, with the unemployment rate and borrowing costs remaining close to current levels.

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