UK house prices see 0.5 per cent rise in February

 
Ben Southwood
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HOUSE prices rebounded in February, according to data released by Halifax yesterday.

The average UK house price climbed 0.5 per cent in the second month of 2013, according to the mortgage giant’s widely-regarded index, recovering from January’s 0.3 per cent dip.

This monthly gain pushed the annual measure further into positive territory, showing prices were up 1.9 per cent over the year, compared to the 1.3 per cent recorded in January. This annual increase was the highest recorded since September 2010, bringing the price of the average UK house to £163,600.

“It’s not yet full steam ahead for the national housing market, but it is certainly building momentum,” said Marsh & Parsons chief Peter Rollings.

“But the improvement continues to be powered by the strong performance of London,” Rollings added. “Both domestic and foreign buyers’ appetite for bricks and mortar in the capital seems undiminished, and unless we see a sudden wave of properties hitting the market, prices will rise further over the spring period.”

Halifax said that the increase in prices was not the only symptom of a tighter market, with the ratio of sales to unsold homes and the total number of sales both creeping up.

The lender put some of the strength down to the booming labour market, which created 584,000 new jobs during 2012, though it said this was muted by the weakness in pay, which has fallen in real terms.