UK house prices dip on month in January - Halifax

LONDON Wed Feb 6, 2013 8:18am GMT

People view properties advertised for sale in the window of an estate agent in west London January 2, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

People view properties advertised for sale in the window of an estate agent in west London January 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Hird

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LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices dipped on the month in January but posted their first annual rise in more than two years, helped by a central bank scheme aimed at boosting lending, mortgage lender Halifax said on Wednesday.

Halifax said prices dropped 0.2 percent last month in line with economists' forecasts in a Reuters poll and after a downwardly revised 1 percent gain in December.

However, prices in the three months to January were 1.3 percent higher than a year ago, slightly undershooting forecasts. That was the first such rise since October 2010.

"The Funding for Lending scheme has helped lenders to lower interest rates and improve availability in the past few months," Halifax economist Martin Ellis said. "This is likely to have been a factor contributing to the pick-up in both home sales and prices."

But he added that sluggish economic growth and pressures on household finances were expected to constrain demand for housing in coming months.

"Overall, we expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013," he said.

(Reporting by Olesya Dmitracova and Michael Holden)

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Comments (2)
uksimon wrote:
No shock about the monthly drop. There’s always a pre-christmas push that raises December figures. No idea why this is being presented as news as it’s no surprise.

What’s also not surprising is that the “Annual rise” that is supposed to reflect a recovering market is infact significantly under the rate of inflation, suggestion a real-terms loss in value of the property market.

I’d like to see how many of the buyers are first-time buyers, giving a more accurate picture of the market, and excluding distortion by over optimistic investors.

The picture for this year is significantly more gloomy. The combination of numerous cuts for residents, significant rises in energy costs and costs of living, as well as transportation are likely to put severe pressure on a housing market already struggling to stay afloat. That on top of the maintained ridiculous BOE rates is likely to lead to a significant topple.

Feb 06, 2013 9:10am GMT  --  Report as abuse
GlobalFamily21 wrote:
Mere dumping money into the hands of the high street banks could not lift up the economy and the purchasing power of the people. There should be proper regulation and monitoring system to make sure that it flows to the hands of the right people who hardly need money for their housing. If not, why not think of an alternative system, under the initiative of the Government and the new leadership of the Bank of England?

Feb 06, 2013 6:55pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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