3 August 2001, 10:23  UK July house prices up adj 0.7 pct from June; up 9.6 pct yr-on-yr - Halifax

LONDON (AFX) - UK house prices rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.7 pct on the month in July and were up 9.6 pct from a year earlier, according to the latest monthly survey released today by the Halifax PLC. June house prices fell 1.6 pct on the month, and were up 9.7 pct year-on-year. The Halifax said the buoyancy in house prices is being driven by a combination of the recent series of mortgage rate cuts and healthy household confidence. The Halifax added consumer sentiment has remained high notwithstanding the global economic slowdown, the recession in the UK manufacturing sector, and the fall in share prices. The continuing fall in unemployment and the record high level of unfilled job vacancies have been key factors underpinning this confidence so far this year. The UK economy, however, is not isolated from the deterioration in world economic conditions, and there are signs that the difficulties faced by manufacturers are spreading to the rest of the economy. Slower economic growth - apparent in the decline in gross domestic product growth in the second quarter - is likely to curb housing demand and cause house price inflation to ease over the coming months, Halifax added. According to the Halifax, the standardised average house price rose to an adjusted 92,718 stg in July from 92,122 stg the previous month.

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