U.K. House-Price Growth Slows Further at the Start of the Year

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. housing market cooled as 2019 got under way as Brexit cast a shadow over the economy.

Prices gained 0.8 percent in the three months through January compared with a year earlier, compared with 1.3 percent in December, mortgage lender Halifax said Thursday. Monthly figures, which can be volatile, showed a 2.9 percent drop to an average 223,691 pounds ($289,000).

U.K. House-Price Growth Slows Further at the Start of the Year

The property market is expected to remain sluggish this year as Brexit uncertainty puts off buyers. Still, low interest rates, record employment and faster wage growth will probably prevent any sharp declines.

Halifax expects growth between 2 percent and 4 percent in 2019, compared with rates more than twice that high just a few years ago.

“The next year will be important for the housing market with much of the immediate focus on what impact Brexit may have,” said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax. “We expect price growth to remain subdued in the near term.”

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