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House prices show first annual fall since '09
LONDON (Reuters) - House prices in England and Wales rose slightly in January, but suffered their first annual decline in more than a year, government data showed on Monday.
The Land Registry said house prices rose 0.2 percent last month, but fell 0.9 percent in January compared with a year ago -- the first negative reading since October 2009.
The average price of a home in January was 163,177 pounds.
Private sector surveys have been showing annual house price declines for some months, and most economists expect prices to fall slightly in 2011 as difficulties in obtaining credit and worries about the economic outlook deter home-buyers.
Land Registry data is less timely than private sector surveys, but provides the most comprehensive data on house prices in England and Wales.
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