By Daniel Hunter

Weak growth of wages is the main reason for the slow-down of the housing market, according to the Halifax.

The mortgage lender said house prices grew by 7.8% in 2014, far below the peak of 10.2% seen in July, compared with a year earlier.

The final quarter of 2014 saw prices go up by just 0.3% due to five consecutive months of declining inflation.

Martin Ellis, the Halifax's chief economist, explained that "earnings growth that has been consistently below consumer price inflation until very recently". That made affording to buy a house much more difficult, he said.

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