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UK house prices drop in February

Fall follows seven months of consecutive rises

House prices in the UK fell by 1.5% in February, the first monthly downward movement since June last year.

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Poor weather, more properties being put up for sale and the end of the stamp duty holiday took their toll, as the average price of a home in the UK at the end of last month dropped to £166,587.

Stamp duty return

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax said: ‘There has been a decline in the underlying rate of house price inflation – measured by a comparison of the latest three months with the previous quarter – over the last few months.

‘An increase in the number of properties available for sale has helped to reduce slightly the imbalance between supply and demand. At the same time, the bad weather in the first two months of 2010, together with the return of the lowest stamp duty threshold to £175,000, are likely to have had an adverse impact on housing demand.’

Upward trend

However the long term trend is still positive, with the Halifax house price index showing annual growth of 4.5%, and an 8% increase in value since the trough that was experienced in April.

Borrowers looking for a good rate on their mortgage can check out the Which? Best Mortgage Rates review for fixed, tracker and discounted deals.

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