ONS: UK House prices fall 0.2% in January

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Another house price index has suggested that average house prices are now falling across the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), prices fell by 0.2% between December and January, the first monthly fall since March last year.

The ONS figures, which are based on mortgage completions, show that annual house price inflation fell to 8.4% in January.

That was down from 9.8% in December. Prices in London are also slowing.

The ONS said annual house price inflation in the capital was running at 13% in January, well down from a peak of 20.1% in May 2014.

The Halifax and Nationwide - whose figures are based on mortgage approvals - reported a 0.3% and a 0.1% fall in average prices in February.

Some analysts said they expected the market to regain momentum later this year.

One reason for that was a jump in mortgage approvals in January, as reported by the Bank of England.

Others in the industry were more circumspect.

"Such lukewarm results show the traditional January surge in demand for properties has not materialised," said Alex Gosling, the CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.

"However, average prices are still well up on last year, and there's nothing to suggest the the property market has run out of steam."

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