UK house prices jump by most in 11 years in July


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Estate agent boards are displayed outside a property in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices jumped by the most in 11 years this month, reversing about half their losses due to the impact of COVID-19 on a surge in pent-up demand, figures from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Friday.

Average prices rose 1.7% in July, the biggest single-month increase since August 2009, after dropping by 1.6% in June and 1.7% in May.

Compared with a year ago, house prices are 1.5% higher, though they are 1.6% lower than in April.

House prices were picking up at the start of the year before the pandemic, and Nationwide said a temporary cut to property purchase taxes by finance minister Rishi Sunak would push up prices further in the short term.

“However, there is a risk this proves to be something of a false dawn,” Nationwide economist Robert Gardner said, noting that unemployment was forecast to rise sharply later this year when temporary employment support measures end.

(This story has been refiled to remove the extra word ‘but’ in paragraph 3)

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