Date Published 18 February 2008
U.K. house prices rose in February for the first time in four months after two interest-rate cuts by the Bank of England encouraged sellers to demand more for their homes, Rightmove Plc said. The average asking price climbed 3.2 percent to 237,856 pounds ($466,000) from January, compared with a 0.8 percent decline the previous month, Britain`s most-used property Web site said today. In London, values increased by 0.9 percent. "With a couple of interest rate drops," homeowners seeking to sell "are probably thinking the outlook is more positive," Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. "They`ve got the whole year to pitch their asking price. It`s not the return of a boom." Other reports have shown the property market slumped after the benchmark interest rate reached a six-year high in 2007 and credit costs rose. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said last week that further price drops are "possible" as economic growth slows and banks curb loans to consumers. The average time a property spent on the market rose to 93 days from 78 days a year earlier, Rightmove said. Average stocks per real-estate agent increased to 64 from 54 in February 2007.