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Halifax announces 5.2% annual house price rise

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by Gill Montia

Halifax has reported that house prices rose by 1.1% in March, compared to a month earlier.

The increase partly offsets February’s 1.6% fall and takes the average value of a home to £168,521.

According to the lender, price rises have been recorded for eight of the past nine months, producing an annual gain of 5.2%.

However, in the first three months of 2010 prices were only 0.6% higher than in the final quarter of 2009, compared with a 3.6% rise between the third and fourth quarters of last year.

Halifax housing economist, Martin Ellis, suggests the figures point towards “a slowdown in the trend rate of house price growth”.

Looking ahead, Mr Ellis points out that a rise in the number of properties for sale is beginning to reduce the imbalance between supply and demand and is therefore likely to constrain the upward pressure on house prices.

The Halifax figures can be compared with those of Nationwide which recently reported a 0.7% rise in house prices for March, the increase almost reversing an 0.8% month-on-month fall recorded in February.

The building society puts the average cost of a home to £164,519, or 9% more than a year ago.

However, the lender’s three-month-on-three-month measure of inflation edged down – to 1.6% in March, from 1.8% in February.

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News posted: April 8, 2010

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