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House prices suffer heaviest fall in more than a decade

Activity has been stymied by the implementation of social distancing measures and economic uncertainty
House prices suffer heaviest fall in more than a decade

UK house prices suffered the largest monthly decline in more than a decade in May, as social distancing measures and the withdrawal of some mortgage products slowed activity.

Sale prices fell 1.7 per cent last month, according to the Nationwide House Price Index, the first indication of how the market has performed since government guidance was introduced allowing in-person viewings and home moves in mid-May. The fall in prices was the highest drop since February 2009 when mortgage lending was held back in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. 

Annual house price growth slowed to 1.8 per cent, compared with 3.7 per cent in April. During the first two months of the year, transaction levels and prices had started to edge up thanks to greater political certainty following the election of a Conservative majority and record levels of employment. 

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