House prices rise 0.8% to fuel rebound hopes

House prices rose for the second month in a row during August, according to Halifax.

The mortgage lender said that prices in Britain rose 0.8 per cent last month, or down 10.1 per cent in the three months to August versus a year ago. The year-on-year drop is the lowest figure since July 2008. That left the average price of a home at £160,973 — broadly the level they were at the end of last year. Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “Demand for housing has increased since the start of the year due to better affordability and low interest rates.

This, together with low levels of property available for sale, has boosted house prices over the last few months” Related Links Bank urged to punish high-street lenders King’s ‘old iron fist’ missed the recession Bank figures show the first drop in consumer debt Halifax previously reported a 1.1 per cent rise in house prices in July, which was subsequently revised up to a 1.2 per cent advance.

Today’s data means that prices have now risen in three of the last four months. The lender said that housing market activity continues to improve, but remains less than half the level in mid 2007. Bank of England industry-wide figures show that the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases — a leading indicator of completed house sales — increased for the sixth successive month in July. Approvals were 53 per cent higher than in July 2008, at 50,123, but were 55 per cent lower than in July 2007


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