08/08/2017 - British House Price Growth Slows


British house prices rose at their slowest pace in more than four years in the three months to July as households felt the pinch of inflation which is rising faster than wages, mortgage lender Halifax said yesterday. Average house prices were 2.1 percent higher than a year earlier, slowing from a 2.6 percent increase in June's figures and down from growth of more than 8 percent in July last year. Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said the squeeze on spending power, plus the impact of property tax changes in 2016 and affordability concerns, was weighing on demand.

British consumer spending also fell for the third month in a row in July in its longest losing streak in over four years, according to data released on Monday, in another sign that the impact of last year's Brexit vote is rippling through to households. Overall consumer spending dropped by 0.8 percent in real terms last month compared with July 2016, payments company Visa said.

British new car registrations fell for a fourth consecutive month in July, the longest run of declines since 2011, in the latest sign of how uncertainty about Brexit is hitting Britain's economy, a car lobby group said on Friday. Demand fell across business, fleet and private sales with total registrations down by 9.3 percent compared with July last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

"The fall in consumer and business confidence is having a knock-on effect on demand in the new car market and government must act quickly to provide concrete plans regarding Brexit," said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

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