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UK house prices slow again in November, up 8.2% year-on-year: Halifax
[LONDON] British house price growth slowed again in the three months to November as prices rose by 8.2 per cent compared with the same period last year, their smallest increase since February, mortgage lender Halifax said on Thursday.
In November alone, prices rose 0.4 per cent, recovering from a 0.4 per cent fall in October, Halifax said.
Economists had expected prices to rise by 8.0 per cent and 0.3 per cent, according to a Reuters poll.
The Bank of England has welcomed signs that Britain's housing market is cooling off after double-digit price gains earlier this year, restrained at least in part by new controls on mortgage lending.
The annual price gains measured by the Halifax index peaked this year at 10.2 per cent in July. In October, prices were up 8.8 per cent.
Price growth was likely to slow further in 2015 as the prospect of higher interest rates and the scale of recent gains discouraged some buyers, Halifax said. "We expect a further moderation in house price growth over the next year with prices nationally expected to increase in a range of 3-5 per cent in 2015," Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said.
Separate data, published by rival mortgage lender Nationwide last week, showed the annual rate of increase in British house prices in November fell to its lowest level in nearly a year, rising by 8.5 per cent.
The outlook for British house prices could be further affected by the overhaul of taxes on property purchases announced by finance minister George Osborne on Wednesday.
Osborne said the changes, which come ahead of a national election in May, would mean 98 per cent of home-buyers who have to pay so-called stamp duty will see their tax bill reduced.