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UK house prices surge unexpectedly in October - Halifax
November 7, 2016 / 8:39 AM / a year ago

UK house prices surge unexpectedly in October - Halifax

Apartment buildings are backdropped by skyscrapers of banks at Canary Wharf in London, Britain October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices surged unexpectedly in October, countering signs of a broad slowdown in the housing market over the last six months, a survey from mortgage lender Halifax showed on Monday.

House prices shot up 1.4 percent in October compared with an upwardly revised 0.3 percent increase in September. Economists polled by Reuters had expected only a 0.2 percent rise.

In the three months to October, house prices were 5.2 percent higher compared with the same period a year ago - again stronger than the Reuters poll consensus that pointed to a 4.8 percent rise.

“With .. the economy currently resilient, house prices may well rise modestly in the near term,” said Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Markit.

“We believe housing market activity is likely to be increasingly pressurised in 2017 by heightened uncertainty constraining consumer confidence and willingness to engage in major transactions, as well as hampering economic activity.”

Halifax said house price growth may ease in the coming months, but low mortgage rates and a shortage of properties for sale should provide support.

The latest figures contrasted with a survey from rival mortgage lender Nationwide last week, which showed house prices were unchanged in October after rising in each of the previous 15 months.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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