UK house prices rise by more than expected for fifth month in November

UK house price growth, however, slowed on an annual basis to 3.9 percent in the three months to November, following a 4.5 percent rise in October. (Reuters)
Updated 07 December 2017
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UK house prices rise by more than expected for fifth month in November

LONDON: British house prices rose by more than expected in November and for a fifth month in a row, mortgage lender Halifax said on Thursday.
House prices rose 0.5 percent month-on-month after a 0.3 percent rise in October, Halifax said, topping the consensus in a Reuters poll of economists for a 0.2 percent rise.
But house price growth slowed on an annual basis to 3.9 percent in the three months to November, following a 4.5 percent rise in October.
“The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support house prices, which doesn’t look like changing in the near future,” Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said.
Other data suggest the housing market is slowing. Nationwide, a different mortgage lender, has reported a weaker pace of house price growth recently and the Bank of England has said mortgage approvals have fallen to a more than 1-year low.
The figures come two weeks after finance minister Philip Hammond delivered a budget that included measures to help first-time buyers and spur more housebuilding.
“Even if successful, the chancellor’s measures to boost house building in the budget will take time to have a significant effect so are unlikely to markedly influence house prices in the near term at least,” Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club consultancy, said.
He added that house prices are likely to rise between 2 and 3 percent in 2018.


London police seize bitcoin worth $667,000 from hacker

Updated 25 May 2018
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London police seize bitcoin worth $667,000 from hacker

LONDON: London police have seized half a million pounds ($667,000) worth of bitcoin from a prolific computer hacker in a case described as the first of its kind for the 188-year-old department.
Cybercrime detectives seized the bitcoin from Grant West, 26, who was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in prison Friday for attacking some 100 companies worldwide, largely using ‘phishing’ email scams to obtain the financial data.
Once he obtained the data, West would then sell the material to market places on the dark web and convert his profits into bitcoin.
The London Metropolitan police discovered evidence of cyberattacks on 17 major firms including Sainsbury’s, Asda, the British Cardiovascular Society and the Finnish bitcoin exchange.
Officers also recovered a memory card containing approximately 78 million individual usernames and passwords.