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UK House Price Inflation Slows Sharply: Halifax

House price inflation in the UK slowed sharply in January and prices declined monthly at the fastest pace in nine months, survey data from the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The house price index rose 0.8 percent in the three months to January versus a year ago, which was was nearly half of the 1.5 percent growth economists had forecast.

In December, house price inflation accelerated to 1.3 percent from 0.3 percent in November.

On a month-on-month basis, house prices decreased 2.9 percent in January after a 2.5 percent rise in December.

The monthly decline was the biggest since a 3.1 percent slump in April.

The average price of a UK home fell to GBP 223,691 from GBP 230,430 in December.

Prices declined at the start of the year for the second time in three years, Halifax said, adding that the annual increase of 0.8 percent suggests that house prices were broadly unchanged.

"This could either be viewed as a story of resilience, as prices have held up well in the face of significant economic uncertainty, or as a continuation of the slow growth we've witnessed over recent years," Halifax Managing Director Russell Galley said.

"There's no doubt that the next year will be important for the housing market with much of the immediate focus on what impact Brexit may have."

Halifax expects price growth to remain subdued in the near term.

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