LONDON: British house prices showed their biggest monthly jump since at least the 1980s in February, leaping by 5.9 per cent from January, data from mortgage lender Halifax showed yesterday.
But economists said the monthly index was volatile and Brexit uncertainty was still probably weighing on the market.
In annual terms, prices were up by 2.8pc in the three months to February, the lender said, the biggest rise by that measure since August 2018.
Economists had pointed to a 0.1pc increase on the month and a 1pc annual rise in prices.
A Halifax spokesman said the monthly figure was in part a rebound from a sharp 3pc fall in January. Halifax had also seen a disproportionate increase in house sales in southeast England, where prices are typically higher than elsewhere.
Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said house prices had risen in annual, quarterly and monthly terms for the first time since October last year. “Annual house price growth at 2.8pc is within our expectations, but is fairly subdued compared to 2015 and 2016, when the average growth rate was 8.3pc,” he said.
Britain’s housing market has slowed ahead of Brexit although some indicators recently, including a rise in mortgage approvals, have suggested more interest among buyers, albeit nothing on the scale of Halifax’s price jump.
Another mortgage lender Nationwide said last week its measure of house prices showed only a small pick-up in February.