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London house prices slump at fastest rate in almost 10 years

Key Points
  • House prices in London contracted at the fastest annual rate during May, since August 2009.
  • Property price gains across the U.K. have been slowing since 2016, according to official U.K. data.
Oli Scarff | Getty Images

The price of a house in London fell by 4.4% over the year to May 2019, marking the biggest annual slowdown in almost ten years.

Statistics released Wednesday by the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that May's was the lowest annual rate in London since August 2009, when prices contracted 7.0% from August 2008.

Across all of Britain and Northern Ireland, house price growth remained positive, increasing by 1.2% in the year to May 2019.

The ONS noted on Wednesday "a general slowdown in UK house price growth" since 2016, driven mainly by a sluggish market in the south and east of England.

The government body said average UK house prices peaked at £232,000 ($287,000) in August 2018 but slipped back to £229,000 in May 2019 as price falls in London and South East England dragged on the average.

Unsurprisingly, London continues to be the region with the highest average house price, with sales pushing the average to £457,000 in May 2019.

The ONS UK House Price Index includes all residential properties purchased for market value in the U.K.

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