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UK house prices fall at record rate

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House prices fell for a sixth month in a row in July to the lowest in two years, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender HBOS said on Thursday, in a further sign the housing market is cooling sharply.

Prices fell 1.7% on the month, according to the bank’s Halifax house price index, slightly greater than analyst forecasts for a 1.5% drop. Halifax said the average price of house was £177,351, ($346,154) down 11% from the peak of £199,600 hit in August last year.

“Pressure on householders’ income, together with a very significant reduction in mortgage finance due to the global financial markets crisis, is constraining potential house buyers’ ability to enter the market,” said Suren Thiru, economist at Halifax. Prices in the three months to July were 8.8% lower than a year ago, against forecasts for a 8.5% decline. (Reuters)

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