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House price rises 'up for third month'

The rate at which house prices are increasing rose for the third month in a row during March, Government figures showed today.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said annual house price inflation in the UK increased to 12.6per cent for the year to the end of March, up from 10.5 per cent in the 12 months to the end of February.

It attributed the gain to a 2.1 per cent jump in house prices during March, which pushed the average cost of a home up to £183,346.

The figures come just days after Britain's biggest mortgage lender Halifax said annual house price inflation had fallen to just 7.8 per cent for the year to the end of April, its lowest level since June 2001.

The ODPM explained the difference by saying its index was weighted differently to the Halifax one.

It said that because it based its figures on completion prices rather than mortgage approvals, its data also tended to lag around four weeks behind the Halifax figures.

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