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House price rises fastest in three years

House price rises are at their fastest in three years after increasing 0.6% in June, according to The Halifax price index.

The rise is the fastest since August 2010 and 3.7% higher than this time last year.

Martin Ellis, Halifax’s chief economist, said: “Improved confidence in both the housing market and the economy, combined with a shortage of properties available for sale, appear to be pushing up house prices.”

He added that The Funding for Lending Scheme was probably contributing to the rise by helping to reduce mortgage rates.

“There are also early indications that the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme may be stimulating demand,” he said.

However, Ellis was pessimistic in forecasting the state of the market in the second half of the year.

“Despite these signs of improvement in the market, the still subdued economic background and weak income growth are expected to remain significant constraints on housing demand and activity during the second half of 2013,” he said.

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