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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 August, 2004, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
House prices 'ease as rates rise'
People looking in an estate agent's window
Asking prices have fallen, Rightmove says
UK house prices eased slightly in July, weighed down by rising interest rates, according to the latest survey.

Property website Rightmove said the average asking price for a property fell by 900, or 0.5%, to 195,306 in the final three weeks of July.

Rightmove said the figure provided "incontrovertible evidence" that recent rate increases had taken their toll.

The Bank of England has raised rates by a full percentage point to 4.5% since November last year.

Number crunching

It is widely expected to raise borrowing costs by a further 0.25% at its next rate-setting meeting on Thursday.

The rate rises are aimed at reining in soaring consumer debt, much of it related to the rising cost of buying property.

The latest figures from Rightmove tally with recent surveys from the UK's biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, suggesting that the pace of house price growth is slowing.

But they are at odds with the latest figures from mortgage lender Nationwide, which suggested that house prices grew by a bullish 2.1% in July.

Rightmove's survey is based on the asking prices posted on its website.

It does not take account of the actual transaction prices agreed between buyers and sellers.

Rightmove claims to display about 35% of all properties on the market.


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