Surprise rise in property prices in October

House prices rose by 1.2 per cent last month, according to the mortgage lender Halifax. The performance means the average property price of £163,311 is marginally higher than at the end of last year.

Halifax's housing economist Martin Ellis said the prospect of low Bank of England interest rates was supporting the property market.

The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, published today, also recorded a rise in activity in October, although prices dipped.

However, Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said the surprise jump in Halifax's index did "little to change our view that house prices are headed down ... and are likely to fall by 5 per cent by mid-2012".

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