House prices went up 7.5% over 2013 – despite a dip in December, according to the country’s biggest lender.
The bank, which bases it monthly index on mortgages it has agreed, had predicted movement of -2% to 2% over the course of 2013, but a stronger than anticipated recovery in the wider economy, combined with government stimulus including the Help to Buy scheme, led to stronger growth.
Halifax reported a 0.6% drop in prices during December, taking the average UK house price to £173,467. However, it said monthly figures could be volatile, and the three-month data was a more reliable indicator of the underlying trend. This showed growth of 1.9%.
Its annual growth figure is based on a comparison of quarterly year-on-year comparisons, and a straight comparison of prices in December 2012 and December 2013 showed a 5% increase.
Halifax’s housing economist, Martin Ellis, said: “Mounting signs that the economic recovery is becoming firmly established, together with a predicted decline in unemployment, should further boost consumer confidence over the coming months.
“This will increase the likelihood that more people will consider buying a property in 2014, therefore supporting housing demand.”
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