U.K. Home Prices Increase in February After Months of Decline

Milton Keynes–Thanks to two Bank of England interest rate cuts, U.K. home prices increased for the first time in four months in February, according to property Web site Rightmove, headquartered in Milton Keynes. The average home list price had jumped 3.2 percent to £237,856 by mid-month, Bloomberg reported Monday. In January, listing prices declined by 0.8 percent. The average time a home sat on the market increased from 78 to 93 days in the year, according to Rightmove, which also found that prices in nine of the 10 England and Wales regions it tracked rose 5.8 percent in the month.Homebuilder stocks also rose Monday, led by a midday 6.9 percent rise for the U.K.’s second-biggest house builder by volume, Barratt Developments Plc. Other U.K. builders, including Persimmon and Bovis Homes Group, also saw higher stock values.The recent interest rate drops have helped improve consumer outlook, Rightmove Commercial Director Miles Shipside told Bloomberg. However, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said last week that future price declines may happen as growth slows and banks tighten lending restrictions.