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First-time buyers ‘curbed’ by rising house prices

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The latest house price survey by Halifax, the country’s biggest mortgage lender, has revealed that property prices rose by 1.4% in February, pushing up the annual rate of inflation to 5.5%.

According to Halifax, the average property in the UK now costs £173,498, and prices have been rising slowly but steadily since July last year when they hit a low of 2.3% annual growth.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, said: “The continuing high level of house prices in relation to earnings will curb the ability of many potential first-time buyers to enter the market.

“Council tax bills and utility charges have increased well above the rate of inflation and these factors will also dampen interest from first-timers. There is also weakening in the employment market that will temper demand.”

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