Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

U.K. Home-Price Inflation Accelerates to Fastest in Seven Months

  • Values up 4% in September from a year earlier: Halifax
  • Says BOE rate rise won’t have significant impact on market

U.K. house prices rose in September, pushing the annual rate of growth to the fastest in seven months, according to Halifax.

Values increased 0.8 percent from August, a third consecutive monthly advance, the mortgage lender said in a statement on Friday. The year-on-year increase jumped to 4 percent.

Despite the improvement, the overall picture is one of a softer market. The pace of national price increases is down from a peak of 10 percent in early 2016 and other reports show declines in values in some regions.

Still, mortgage approvals are running at an average pace of almost 67,000 a month this year, little changed from 2016, and rampant property inflation in recent years has stretched affordability for many.

“U.K. house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of properties for sale and solid growth in full-time employment,” said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax Community Bank. “However, increasing pressure on spending power and continuing affordability concerns may well dampen buyer demand.”

The government this week said it would extend its “Help to Buy” program, under which it offers interest-free loans to homebuyers. The government said the extension is expected to help an extra 135,000 people, though some have criticized the plan, saying it will unnecessarily stoke the market.

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