Growth in British house prices accelerated faster than expected in December, with figures rising to an eight-month high.

According to the latest survey by mortgage lender Nationwide, house prices grew by 0.8 percent in December, compared to jsut a 0.1 percent increase in November.

The average price of a property in the UK now stands at £196,999, with prices rising 4.5 percent year-on-year. Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner said:

“As we look ahead to 2016, the risks are skewed towards a modest acceleration in house price growth, at least at the national level, despite the likelihood of interest rate increases from the middle of next year.”

London took the top spot again, with average prices in the capital up 12 percent on last year. However, this is not expected to continue on into 2016, as prices grow beyond affordability for the average worker in the city; prices in London are now 50% above their pre-crisis peak in 2007.

However, rival lender Halifax’s survey showed growth twice as fast as Nationwide, with figures showing that prices rose 9 percent in the year to November.

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