UK house prices fell 0.7% in December and price growth for last year dropped to its slowest pace since 2013, according to the latest Nationwide House Price Index. 

The average price of a house fell to £212,281 in December, compared with £214,044 in November, and the rate of growth dipped to 0.5% for 2018, down from 2.6% the year before. The building society said the primary cause of the slowdown was the unusually uncertain economic outlook. Most commentators believe it is likely that the recent slowdown is attributable to the impact of the uncertain economic outlook on buyer sentiment, given that it has occurred against a backdrop of solid employment growth, stronger wage growth and continued low borrowing costs.

Near term prospects will be heavily dependent on how quickly this uncertainty lifts, but ultimately the outlook for the housing market and house prices will be determined by the performance of the wider economy ' especially the labour market.

About the Author: Glen Callow

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