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Housing market slows

The housing market is slowing as house price growth turned negative and buyer demand slumped in August, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).This is the first time house prices growth has turned negative since October 2005, with demand weakening as a result of rising interest rates and falling affordability. Surveys from other organisations, including the big mortgage lenders, the department of communities and local government, and the English and Welsh Land Registry have reported rising house prices, but Rics has long been said to predict housing trends with more accuracy than other market barometers. Rics spokesperson, Ian Perry, said: "Affordability is at its most stretched in over a decade and many will worry that rising mortgage repayments will prove a step too far." He predicted: "The market will soften further, going into the autumn, reducing some impetus from those that have been chasing a rapidly-moving target."

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