Halifax sees rise in house prices

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House prices rose for the second month in August, according to the mortgage lender Halifax yesterday, confounding expectations for a fall.

House prices rose 0.2 per cent in August, Halifax said, which, coming after a 0.7 per cent rise in July, helped to reverse declines recorded between April and June. That left prices 4.6 per cent up in the three months to August compared with a year ago and took the average price of a home to £167,953 – 9 per cent above its low in April 2009 but still 16 per cent down from a peak in August 2007.

Analysts had expected a fall of 0.5 per cent on the month after rival lender Nationwide reported a 0.9 per cent drop in house prices in August.

Halifax's economist Martin Ellis said that August's rise still only left prices near where they were at the end of 2009, and he expected house prices to remain static in 2010 as a whole.