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LONDON-The consumer confidence research conducted by the Woolwich, the UK’s fourth-largest mortgage lender, has shown that average consumer confidence has fallen slightly from 64% to 61% throughout the UK over the last three months.

This is the first indication that house price confidence may have peaked as this represents the first fall in confidence since November 2001. However consumers remain much more positive about the housing market than in 2001, where average confidence was 53%.

The Woolwich Mortgage Index also showed that UK gross lending levels last month have dropped. UK gross mortgage lending exceeded £17.5 billion ($27.4 billion) in June 2002, which although marking a 19% increase on June 2001′s figure of £14.8 billion ($23.2 billion), showed a 9% decrease on the May 2002 figure of £19.5 billion ($30.5 billion).

Andy Gray, head of lending, Woolwich, said: “Our figures give an indication that the property market may have reached its peak as both average consumer confidence and UK gross mortgage lending levels have fallen slightly over the last three months. We believe that continuously increasing house prices have started to make property unaffordable for many people which is causing the housing market to slow of its own accord.”

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