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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UK home costs jump in October

LONDON: British house prices jumped in October, mortgage lender Halifax said, in a rare sign the housing market may be weathering the economic turbulences better than many fear.

Home prices were 1.2% higher than in September, Halifax said. Prices were 1.8% lower in the three months to October compared with the previous year's period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a monthly increase of only 0.1% and an annual decline of 2.3%.

“The housing market has proved highly resilient in recent months despite the weak economic recovery and the deterioration in the outlook for both the UK and global economies,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist.

“Despite these developments, house sales and the supply of properties for sale have remained very stable since late 2010,” he said. “The prospect of exceptionally low official interest rates over the foreseeable future is likely to continue to support the market in the face of a very difficult economic climate.”

Other surveys have painted a bleaker picture and many economists see house prices in Britain falling in the months ahead as the country is teetering on the brink of a recession.

Consumers cut back spending as their budgets are squeezed by soaring costs of living, which outweigh small wage increases.

By Reuters

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