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Spring house prices 'stall'

Rightmove say average house prices have dipped in the UK Credit: PA

Spring house price momentum stalled in June as the average price tag on a property coming to market dipped by more than £1,000 month-on-month, according to Rightmove.

Across England and Wales, the average asking price was £316,109 in June, marking a 0.4% or £1,172 fall compared with May.

It was the first fall seen in the month of June since 2009 - at the height of the credit crunch - Rightmove said.

By contrast, asking prices were up month-on-month in June in the East Midlands, by 1.2%

In the West Midlands, asking prices dipped by 0.8% month-on-month - the only other region apart from London and the South East to see asking prices fall in June.

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90% of English local authorities increasing council tax, while one Midland council will stay same

90% of English local authorities to increase council tax Credit: PA

Nine out of 10 local authorities in England are increasing their level of council tax from April, a new survey has found.

Residents in some areas will see their bills rise by as much as 5%, as councils take full advantage of new powers to top up their charges with money ring-fenced for social care.

Among the 22 local authorities to buck the national trend and not raise their portion of council tax is Wyre Forest council, in Worcestershire.

Leader Marcus Hart said putting up council tax should be a "last resort". He said he had been able to freeze the tax because of increasing other fees and charges, including ones for car parking, bulky waste collections and cutting trees down.

Our narrative is, broadly, council tax payers - we won't just be using you by putting up council tax just to subsidise other services.

– Worcestershire County Council leader

Tim Roache, general secretary of the public sector GMB union, said:

That almost every local authority is being forced to raise council tax to meet the even the basic needs of communities up and down the country shows just how far the Government have gone in abdicating responsibility for public services.

– GMB union, Tim Roache
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