By Lea Pachta

Halifax has announced that UK house prices have increased for the 7th consecutive month, rising by 0.6% in January, compared to December. The average price of a UK home is now £169,777, 3.6% higher than it was last year.

Martin Ellis, housing economist, commented:
House prices rose by 0.6% in January. This was the seventh successive monthly increase and takes the average price to 9.9% above its trough in April 2009. January’s rise, nonetheless, was more modest than in any of the previous six months.

The marked reduction in interest rates over the past 15 months has, from a low base, boosted housing demand from those with a sufficient deposit to enter the market. Increased demand has combined with a low supply of properties available for sale to push up prices.

There are some signs that more people are putting their homes on the market. A further increase in the supply of property is possible over the coming months, which would help to curb upward pressure on prices. Overall, our current view is that house prices will be flat during 2010.”