House prices in the United Kingdom surprisingly rose in January, reversing a previous month’s decline, according to the Halifax House Price Index released today.
Data show that UK house prices rose 0.6 percent in January from December’s decline of 1.0 percent, and beat expectations for a mere 0.1 percent growth.
“The continuing very low level of interest rates has helped to support housing demand, resulting in little overall movement in house prices since last spring,” reported Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis.
Average house prices fell by 1.8 percent in the three months to January compared with a year ago, taking the average price of a house down to 160,907 pounds.
Ellis added that house prices should hold steady this year, assuming no further downturn. “If the UK can avoid a prolonged recession, we expect broad stability in house prices in 2012,” Ellis said.
Britain’s property market has faltered since the start of the financial crisis but prospects for house prices over the coming months will, to a large extent, depend on events in the euro zone and the repercussions of developments there for the UK economy.