Britain's house prices continued to rise in August, said the lender Halifax on Friday.
Halifax, now part of the Lloyds Banking Group, said in its monthly house price index report, house prices in three months to August were 2.1 percent higher than in the previous three months, remaining unchanged from both June and July, and surged 5.4 percent compared with the same period of last year, the highest annual rate since June 2010.
"Economic improvement and low interest rates, supported by official schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, appear to have boosted housing demand in recent months," said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist.
He predicted the house prices would rise gradually over the remainder of the year, but warned the relatively modest economic growth and below inflation rises in earnings are likely to act as a brake on the market.
The Halifax survey also found that house prices rose by 0.4 percent in August, which was the seventh consecutive monthly increase.
It said housing market activity has risen as well. The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases, a leading indicator of completed house sales, increased by 4 percent between June and July, to 60,600. This is the first time that approvals have exceeded 60,000 since early 2008.
The present low bank interest rate and the government measures to boost property market have stimulated house sales, making house supply fall short of supply. Halifax expected more properties would come on the market.
It said that further improvements in the availability of properties for sales could help to bring demand and supply into better balance, constraining the upward pressure on prices.