British house prices rise in August: survey

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British house prices rose further in August but at a slower pace compared with July, data showed on Wednesday, in marked contrast to a rival survey reporting that prices were in fact falling.

House prices rose by 0.2 percent in August after a gain of 0.6 percent in July, mortgage provider Halifax said in a statement.

"The improved economy, strengthening labour market and low interest rates are all supporting housing demand," said Halifax economist Martin Ellis.

The data contrasts with figures from home loans provider Nationwide, which last week said British house prices fell for a second month running in August when they dropped 0.9 percent compared with July.

On Wednesday, Halifax added that the average house price in Britain stood at 167,953 pounds (204,385 euros, 259,648 dollars) in August. That is 16 percent below the peak seen in August 2007 ahead of the financial crisis.

Prices in August 2010 were meanwhile 4.6 percent higher compared with 12 months earlier, Halifax added.

© 2010 AFP

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