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UK house prices pick up in August

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UK house
Britain   House prices rose 3.7% in the three months to August

UK house prices picked up in August, according to the latest figures from mortgage lender Halifax.

House prices rose 3.7% in the three months to August compared to the same period a year ago, up from a 3.3% increase the month before but below analysts' expectations for growth of 3.9%.

On the month, house prices were 0.1% higher, topping expectations of a 0.3% decline following a 1.2% drop in July.

Meanwhile, the number of first-time buyers was up around 3% in the first six months of 2018 to 175,500. This marks the sixth increase over a comparable period in the last seven years and the third consecutive year that first-time buyer numbers have topped 150,000.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: "While the pace of employment growth has recently slowed, a low unemployment rate and a gradual pickup in wage growth are helping to support household finances. This has been accompanied by interest rates still remaining at a historically low rate and a stable, yet constrained, supply of new homes onto the market further supporting house prices."

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