London House-Price Growth Slows to Weakest Since 2012

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London Estate Agents As Home-Price Drop Deepens
Employees and visitors look at computer monitors as as they sit inside an estate agents in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. The value of homes in the city had surged by almost 80 percent since the last trough in March 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics office. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

London house-price inflation slowed to the least in more than two years in April, reflecting uncertainty about property taxes in the buildup to the general election last month.

Annual house-price growth in the U.K. capital slowed to 4.3 percent from 11.2 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in London on Tuesday. That’s the smallest increase since October 2012 and the first time in nine years that London has lagged national growth.

Average prices across the U.K. rose an annual 5.5 percent in April. That’s down from 9.6 percent in March and marked the slowest rate of growth since December 2013.

While the ONS didn’t specifically cite the election, property companies including Rightmove have said that concern about potential levies on the most expensive homes damped activity in London in recent months. There have been signs of a rebound since the May 7 vote, with asking prices surging in June.

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There was also a slowdown in price growth in Scotland to 2.2 percent in April from 14.6 in March, according to the ONS data. Demand there was skewed by the introduction of a new transaction tax on land and buildings on April 1, which replaced stamp duty.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the national number in the third paragraph.)

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