LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Annual British house price growth cooled to its weakest since July 2013 in February, hurt by increasingly squeezed consumer finances, mortgage lender Halifax said on Tuesday.
House prices rose 5.1 percent in the three months to February compared with the same period a year ago, down from 5.7 percent in January and weaker than a Reuters poll forecast for growth of 5.3 percent.
In February alone, house prices edged up 0.1 percent after a 1.1 percent drop in January, Halifax said.
“A sustained period of house price growth in excess of pay rises has made it increasingly difficult for many to purchase a home,” Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis said.
“This development, together with signs of reduced momentum in the jobs market and squeezed consumer spending power, is expected to curb house price growth during 2017.” (Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Michael Holden)