UK house prices see 10.2% annual rise, says the Halifax

house Prices have risen sharply in some areas of the country in the past year

UK house prices in July were up 10.2% from a year earlier - the biggest annual change since September 2007, according to the Halifax.

The lender said that property prices grew by 3.6% in the three months to the end of July compared with the previous quarter.

The monthly increase was 1.4% compared with June, making the average home worth £186,332.

The figures are at odds with other surveys which suggest a slowdown.

'Upward trend'

This is the first time since September 2007 that the annual change has gone above 10%, according to the Halifax. It accelerated from an 8.8% rise in June.

"While supply remains low, housing demand continues to be supported by a continuing economic recovery, growth in employment, improving consumer confidence and low mortgage rates," said Stephen Noakes, mortgages director at the Halifax.

The numbers, based on its own mortgage lending, counter the view put forward by rival lender Nationwide, which said prices had started to moderate.

The Nationwide's estimate of the annual house price rise slowed from 11.8% in June to 10.6% in July.

The year-on-year comparison is calculated slightly differently by the two lenders. The Halifax compares the previous three months with the same three months a year earlier to give a smoother comparison, rather than a direct comparison of the equivalent months as calculated by the Nationwide.

The Land Registry has also suggested that seven out of 10 regions of England and Wales showed a monthly fall in prices, although these short-term price changes are often volatile.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist for IHS Global Insight, said: "On balance, we take the view that house prices will keep on clearly rising over the coming months but there will be some moderation from the recent peak levels."

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Help to Buy

Halifax is part of Lloyds Banking Group, which recently announced that it was moving to reduce its share of mortgages under the government's Help to Buy scheme.

Borrowers are now able to raise a maximum of £150,000 through Help to Buy, down from £500,000.

Under the scheme, buyers are required to provide a deposit of of 5% of the home's value, with another 20% backed by the government if the buyer fails to keep up with repayments.

The Bank of England has also taken action to try to ensure mortgage lending does not reach unsustainable levels.

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