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&#39Interest rate rises beginning to bite&#39

June saw house prices rise by just 1.2 per cent – the smallest gain since last November, according to the Halifax&#39s monthly house price index.

The gain was well below the average monthly rise of 2.1 per cent in the previous six months. Halifax says this suggests recent increases in the cost of borrowing are beginning to curb demand.

The second quarter saw a further narrowing of the North-South divide, with the average house price in the South falling from a peak of 2.19 times higher than in the North in the second quarter of 2002 to 1.74 times higher now. Halifax says this is the smallest gap for five years.

Halifax says the average house price in the West Midlands and East Anglia climbed over £150,000 for the first time in the second quarter, joining Greater London, the South-east and South-west.

Chief economist Martin Ellis says: “House prices increased in all regions of the UK during the second quarter. Scotland recorded the biggest rise (11.9 per cent), the highest quarterly rise we have seen north of the border.

“The next biggest gains were in the East Midlands (8.7 per cent), North (7.8 per cent) and North-west (7.6 per cent). The smallest price rises in the second quarter were in Greater London (1.8 per cent), Northern Ireland (1.8 per cent) and the South-east.”

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