UK house prices growth slowed in January for the first time in six months, data from the Nationwide Building Society showed on Tuesday.
House prices climbed 6.4 percent on a yearly basis, but weaker than the 7.3 percent increase logged in December. Economists had forecast an annual growth of 6.9 percent.
On a monthly basis, house prices fell 0.3 percent, in contrast to a 0.9 percent rise seen in December and confounding expectations for an increase of 0.3 percent. This was the first monthly decline since June.
To a large extent, the slowdown probably reflects a tapering of demand ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said.
While the stamp duty holiday is not due to expire until the end of March, activity would be expected to weaken well before that, given that the purchase process typically takes several months, the economist added.
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