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Property prices up for sixth month

Thursday January 7th 2010

The cost of property rose for the sixth month in a row in December with house prices ending 2009 1.1% higher than they started it, figures showed.

A 1% gain in property values during the month was reported by Halifax, leaving the average home costing £169,042.

Halifax said prices were 1.1% higher a year ago, based on the group measure of comparing average prices during the three months to the end of December with the same period a year earlier. In the final quarter of 2009, the cost of property rose at its fastest rate since 2006

But the cost of the average home rose 5.6% in the past year if December prices are compared with those in December 2008.

House prices were 9.4% or £14,552 higher than when they reached their low in April, said Halifax.

The 1.1% increase helped to push annual house price growth into positive territory for the first time since March 2008.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: "The significant cut in interest rates has markedly reduced the burden of servicing a mortgage for many households. This has helped to stimulate housing demand, albeit from a low base."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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