Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

U.K. House Prices Climb Most This Year, Bucking Recent Trend

  • Prices up 1.1% in August, annual rate rises first time in 2017
  • Low mortgage rates, shortage of houses to stoke gains: Halifax

U.K. house prices rose the most this year in August, possibly signaling that a slowdown in the market is easing, according to Halifax.

The 1.1 percent jump was the biggest since December 2016 and followed a 0.7 percent gain in July. Over the three months through August, prices rose an annual 2.6 percent, with the measure increasing for the first time this year, the mortgage lender said in a statement on Thursday.

That bucks the recent trend of data showing that housing is cooling. Figures last week from Nationwide Building Society indicated the market remained subdued amid slower economic growth after the Brexit vote. The pace of price increases is down from a peak of 10 percent in March 2016 and the 2.1 percent annual gain in July was the weakest in four years.

Still, property prices have shown resilience and continue to rise -- albeit at a slower pace. The Bank of England said home-loan approvals rose to the highest since March 2016 in July.

“Recent figures for mortgage approvals suggest some buoyancy may be returning, possibly on the back of strong recent employment growth,” said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax Community Bank. He expects property-price inflation will continue to be supported by low mortgage rates and a shortage of houses for sale.

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