UK house prices bounce unexpectedly in February: Halifax
LONDON (Reuters) -British house prices jumped unexpectedly in February, potentially reflecting an improvement in consumer confidence, mortgage lender Halifax said on Tuesday, adding that the overall trend remained downwards.
House prices rose 1.1% month-on-month, following a 0.2% rise in January, Halifax said.
A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a 0.3% drop on the month.
Most other gauges of the housing market are yet to show a similar improvement.
"Recent reductions in mortgage rates, improving consumer confidence, and a continuing resilience in the labour market are arguably helping to stabilise prices following the falls seen in November and December," said Kim Kinnaird, director of mortgages at Halifax.
"Still, with the cost of a home down on a quarterly basis, the underlying activity continues to indicate a general downward trend."
House prices were 2.1% higher than a year ago, Halifax said.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Kate Holton)