HalifaxNew figures from the Halifax show house prices are rising at their fastest rate for nearly three years.

According to the UK’s largest mortgage lender, house prices rose by 0.60% in June and have risen sharply by 3.70% over the past 12 months. The annual rise is the largest since August 2010 and June is the fifth month in a row house prices have risen.

Last week the Nationwide said house prices had risen by 0.30% in June and were 1.90% higher year on year.

The average house price is now £167,894, broadly the same as reported by the Nationwide, but significantly above the figure given by the Land Registry.

Commenting on the figures, Martin Ellis, Housing Economist at the Halifax, 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. The Funding for Lending Scheme is also likely to be boosting the market by helping to reduce mortgage rates. There are also early indications that the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme may be stimulating demand. 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.”

The Halifax House Price Index is the oldest survey of house prices in the UK having started in January 1983.