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UK house price inflation accelerated in February, defying expectations for further slowing, survey data from the Nationwide Building Society showed Tuesday.

The house price index rose 6.9 percent year-on-year following 6.4 percent rise in January. Economists had expected the rate to ease to 5.6 percent.

Compared to the previous month, the HPI rose 0.7 percent in February after a 0.2 percent drop in January.

The average price of a UK home was a record GBP 231,061 in February.

“This increase is a surprise,” Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said.

“It seemed more likely that annual price growth would soften further ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase.”


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