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Upturn for house prices

House prices rose by 1.3 per cent during December, providing some rare good news for homeowners, figures from Halifax showed today.

The increase wiped out some of the falls seen during the previous three months, with house prices dropping by 1.3 per cent in November and by 0.7 per cent and 0.6 per cent in October and September respectively.

It also provided some breathing space for the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, reducing the chance that it will announce a second consecutive cut in interest rates on Thursday.