LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices posted a surprise monthly rise in December, although they were likely to remain broadly flat in 2013, mortgage lender Halifax said on Monday.
Halifax said prices climbed 1.3 percent last month, compared to economists' forecasts for no change and after an upwardly revised rise of 1.6 percent in November.
However, prices in the three months to December were 0.3 percent lower than a year ago.
"Overall, last year saw an even mix of monthly rises and falls, as prices lacked any real direction as both demand and supply pressures remained largely unchanged during 2012," Halifax economist Martin Ellis said.
"We expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013."
Reporting by Peter Griffiths and Olesya Dmitracova