The latest house price index from the Halifax puts house prices 2.4 percent higher in February than they were in january 2014. This is the eleventh monthly increase over the last year says the Halifax.

The price for the average house now stands at £179,872 according to the lender. For a long term comparison see the house price graphs below.

On a three month basis house prices were 2.1 percent higher in the period December to February than they were in September to November.

The Halifax also reports that home sales activity has been on the increase for the ninth successive month and in January 2014 it was 30 percent higher than in January 2013. Mortgage approvals were also 11 percent higher in the three months to January 2014 than in the three months to October 2013.

Although new buyer enquiries eased in January this was accompanied by a reduction in new instructions for sale so the supply/demand imbalance was maintained says the Halifax. But it goes on to say that the 24 percent increase in new builds over the last year should help to rebalance the market.

House Price Graph

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House Price Graph (Expanded)

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Commenting, Stephen Noakes, Halifax Mortgages Director, said:

"House prices in the three months to February were 2.1% higher than in the three months to November. The annual rate of increase rose again with prices in the three months to February 7.9% higher than in the same three months last year.

"Several factors appear to have boosted demand, such as the improved economic outlook, unemployment falling faster than expected, improvements in consumer confidence and low interest rates.

"However, continuing pressures on household finances, as earnings fail to keep pace with consumer price inflation, are expected to remain a constraint on the rate of growth of house prices. We are also seeing signs of a revival in housebuilding, which should help bring supply and demand into better balance and curb upward pressure on prices over the medium and longer terms."

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