House prices rise at fastest pace since November says Halifax

A woman walks past adverts in an estate agent window

On a monthly basis, prices rose by 1.4pc in July, while quarterly prices were 1.3pc higher than in the preceding three months, the fastest quarterly increase since November.

A surprise spike in United Kingdom house prices in July has increased the annual rate of property inflation to 3.3%, pushing the cost of buying a home to a record high. The average price was £230,280.

Compared with a year ago, house prices were 3.3 percent higher than a year ago, the fastest rate of growth since November and compared with a 1.8 percent rise in June.

Research published by Nationwide last week also showed house prices rising beyond expectations in July.

Although a rebound in prices will dismay those struggling to save money to buy their first home, some estate agents greeted the figures enthusiastically. Its figure for annual house price inflation is 2.5%.

'It is nearly as if the north/south divide is working in reverse with more activity outside rather than inside the capital, ' he added.

'Housing market activity is still relatively lacklustre and we expect it to remain so as the extended squeeze on consumer purchasing power only gradually eases, consumer confidence is relatively fragile and appreciable caution persists over engaging in major transactions.

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