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House prices on the up

Good news on the house price front – the latest Halifax House Price Index reveals that prices in the three months to February were 1.9% higher than in the previous three months. It is the third consecutive time that this measure has shown an increase in prices.

The figures are backed up by the latest data from the Nationwide, which reveals that the price of a typical home rose by 0.2% in February, but was unchanged compared with February 2012.

The typical UK home is now worth £162,638, says the Nationwide.

“House sales also continue on a modest upward trend,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist with the Halifax. “This increase in both house prices and activity in recent months is consistent with evidence of some improvement in market conditions. The more than half a million increase in the number of people in employment over the past year is likely to have been a factor supporting housing demand.”

According to Ellis, the Halifax expects to see a national increase in house prices over the course of 2013, but housing demand is still likely to be constrained by weak income growth and continuing below-trend economic growth.