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December 29, 2009

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UK home prices ease

THE year-on-year fall in house prices in England and Wales eased to 1.9 percent in December, the smallest annual drop since May 2008, property data company Hometrack said yesterday.

However, the monthly pace of house price rises suffered a seasonal slowdown to 0.1 percent in December from November's 0.2 percent, and Hometrack forecast prices would drop a further 1 percent in 2010 as a whole.

Last year Hometrack predicted prices would fall 10 percent. Mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide report prices have already risen by around 2 percent in the year to November.

"Unexpectedly buoyant demand and a chronic lack of housing for sale were the key drivers of the housing market in 2009," said Richard Donnell, research director at Hometrack.

"While a scarcity of housing for sale is set to remain an important feature of the market in 2010, it is the prospects for demand that will dictate the outlook for prices in the next 12 months," Donnell added.


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