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House prices continue ‘brisk’ rise, says Nationwide

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UK house prices continued to rise at a "fairly brisk pace" in August, according to the latest figures from Nationwide.

Prices rose by 0.6% compared with July and are up by 3.5% compared with a year earlier, though the annual rate had slowed slightly, the building society said.

Meanwhile, the three-month on three-month comparison in prices recorded a 1.4% rise – the biggest increase in more than three years.

An improving economic outlook has led to rising consumer confidence, helping to push up prices, it concluded.

The building society’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, added that greater availability of cheaper mortgages had also increased activity in the market.

“An improvement in the availability and a reduction in the cost of credit, partly as a result of policy measures such as the Funding for Lending and Help to Buy schemes, is also enabling more people to take their first steps into the property market,” he added.

However, Gardner said that, while there had been signs that housebuilding was starting to recover, construction was still running below what was likely to be required to keep up with demand.

The average home was valued at £170,514, the Nationwide said.

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