LONDON Feb 6 British house prices showed their
biggest monthly rise in three months in January, and the annual
rate of house price inflation remained near a six-year high,
mortgage lender Halifax reported on Thursday.
Halifax said house prices rose 1.1 percent in January after
dropping by 0.5 percent the month before, roughly in line with
economists' forecasts and the biggest rise since October.
House prices in the three months to January are 7.3 percent
higher than a year earlier, a slightly slower rate of increase
than December's 7.5 percent but still close to November's
six-year high of 7.7 percent.
"Demand has increased against a background of low interest
rates and higher consumer confidence underpinned by signs that
the economy is recovering and unemployment falling faster than
expected," said Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis.
"Official schemes, such as Help to Buy, also appear to have
boosted housing demand. However, continuing pressures on
household finances ... are expected to remain a constraint on
the rate of growth of house prices," he added.