UK house price inflation slows from 4-1/2 year high

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FILE PHOTO: A man walks past houses painted in various colours in a residential street in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British house price inflation slowed in January to an annual rate of 7.5% in January, down from 8.0% in December which was the biggest rise since June 2016, official figures showed on Wednesday.

The biggest rise in prices over the past 12 months occurred in northwest England while the smallest increase was in the West Midlands, the Office for National Statistics said.

Other measures of the housing market have also shown a jump in property prices after the onset of the pandemic last year, helped by a surge in demand for bigger homes and a tax cut for buyers offered by finance minister Rishi Sunak.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)