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REFILE-UPDATE 1-UK house prices rise at fastest annual pace since 2016: Halifax

Wed, 7th Oct 2020 09:04

(Corrects day of story in 1st paragraph)

LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - British house prices rose last
month at the fastest annual pace since June 2016 in the latest
sign of a post-coronavirus lockdown surge in the housing market,
data from mortgage lender Halifax showed on Wednesday.

House prices were 7.3% higher than in September last year,
accelerating from annual growth of 5.2% in August.

"Context is important with the annual comparison, however,
as September 2019 saw political uncertainty weigh on the
market," said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax.

September last year saw an escalation of Brexit tensions,
marked by a series of knife-edge votes in parliament and an
attempt by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend parliament.

House prices rose 1.6% between August and September, Halifax
said.

Other indicators of the housing market have also pointed to
a surge in activity in recent months, spurred by the release of
pent-up demand following the coronavirus lockdown and a cut to
property sales taxes.

Still, analysts are sceptical that the upswing will last.

"We continue to believe that significant downward pressure
on house prices should be expected at some point in the months
ahead as the realities of an economic recession are felt ever
more keenly," Galley said.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by William Schomberg)

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