U.K. house prices fell slightly on month in August, following a modest increase the previous month, figures showed on Tuesday.
Prices fell by 0.1% on month, below July's growth of 0.3%, data from lender Nationwide showed. Compared with the same month last year, prices rose by 2.1%.
Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said the housing sector's slowdown was surprising given the strength of the labor market and falling unemployment rate.
"It may be that mounting pressure on household finances is exerting a drag. Wages have been failing to keep up with the cost of living in recent months and consumer sentiment has weakened," Gardner added.
House prices posted three consecutive monthly drops in the three months through May before rising in June--the longest run of declines since 2009--signaling that demand may be cooling as accelerating inflation squeezes consumers.
Consumer price inflation stood at 2.6% in July, down from May's peak of 2.9%, but still well above the Bank of England's 2% target and the pace of growth in wages.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 29, 2017 02:56 ET (06:56 GMT)