British house prices rise in July: survey

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British house prices moved higher in July, but the market remains flat so far this year, data from a top home-loans provider showed on Wednesday.

"House prices increased by 0.6 percent in July, reversing the fall in June," said Martin Ellis, economist at leading mortgage provider Halifax.

"Overall, there has been little change in prices during 2010 so far," he added in a statement.

"The mixed pattern of monthly rises and falls over the first seven months of the year is consistent with a slowing market. It is also in line with our view that house prices will be broadly unchanged over 2010 as a whole."

Halifax, part of state-controlled Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), also revealed that the average house price in Britain stood at 167,425 pounds (202,234 euros, 266,779 dollars). That is 16 percent below the peak seen in August 2007.

In a separate statement, LBG also announced on Wednesday that it bounced back into profit in the first half, as bad debts fell sharply.

Pre-tax profit stood at 1.6 billion pounds (1.9 billion euros, 2.5 billion dollars) in the six months to the end of June, which compared with a loss of about 4.0 billion pounds in the same part of 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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