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Reference – Scott Hamilton

U.K. house prices rose last month to the highest in almost three years as measures by the Bank of England and the government stimulated property demand.

Home values increased 0.6 percent from the previous month to an average 167,984 pounds ($256,100), the highest since August 2010, the mortgage unit of Lloyds Banking Group Plc said in a statement in London today. From a year earlier, prices rose 4.1 percent.

The property market is showing signs of strengthening after the BOE’s Funding for Lending Scheme helped to lower borrowing costs and the government set up a program to help people buy homes. The central bank said yesterday that demand for mortgages rose “significantly” in the second quarter.

“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, said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax. Still, ‘‘subdued economic background and weak income growth are expected to remain significant constraints on housing demand.’’

Taylor Wimpey Plc (TW/), the U.K’s second-largest homebuilder by volume, said today that more than 1,000 customers reserved homes using Help to Buy and a further 232 are seeking approval. It also said that first-half operating profit margin in the U.K. was more than 13 percent, up from 11.2 percent a year earlier.

In the three months through June, house prices rose 2.1 percent from the previous quarter, according to Halifax. From a year earlier, values were 3.7 percent higher, also the biggest increase since August 2010.

Data this week showed that mortgage approvals rose to the highest since 2009 in May, while a BOE survey published yesterday found banks boosted home-loan availability and lowered borrowing costs in the second quarter. Lenders also signaled they may increase the supply of higher loan-to-value mortgage.

Property researcher Hometrack Ltd. said this week that house prices rose 0.4 percent in June, matching the biggest increase in six years, while Nationwide Building Society said last week that property values rose 0.3 percent last month.