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Housing slowdown hits London

UK house prices have slipped overall for the first time this year, led by deteriorating conditions in the South-east and London.

According to Hometrack’s monthly index, house prices fell by 0.1 per cent in July, the first decrease in seven months.

In  London, prices rose by 0.1 per cent. It is still the only region posting growth, but the rate has declined, and the number of postcodes in the capital posting declines is on the rise.

Across the South-east, house prices were down across 35 per cent of postcodes, a steeper decline than the national average.

Demand also took the greatest hits in the South-east and London, which saw contractions in new buy registrations of 3.4 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively – both above the 2.1 per cent national average.

The figures will make grim reading for a government struggling to stoke a housing market registering steep falls in new builds amid a flagging national construction industry.

The report blamed the figures on a combination of the seasonal slowdown with the flagging national economy. It also said the gap between supply and demand was widening, with an increase in new properties coming to market of 1.4 per cent in July and 5.2 per cent over the quarter.

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