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Housebuilders lift market on back of rise in prices

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Better news for housebuilders as prices rose (pic: Terry Murden)

Householders were boosted by the latest Halifax house price data,which was more upbeat than expected.

House prices rose last month as lower mortgage rates encouraged buyers back into the market.

Property values increased by 0.5% in November compared to October, according to the Halifax house price index.

It was the second monthly gain in a row after six consecutive falls before that. It means a typical home is worth £283,615, up around £1,300 on the previous month.

On an annual basis, prices were down 1% compared to November last year, a sharp fall from the 3.1% decline in the year to October.

The increase comes after rival lender Nationwide said house prices rose in November compared to the previous month.

Taylor Wimpey gained 2.5p to 137p, while Barratt Developments added 10.25p to 542p and Rightmove, the property portal, put on 8.5p to 572.25p.

The FTSE 100 just about flat at 7,513.72

Apax has raised its offer for Kin + Carta to 120p per share, which would value the technology services company at £258 million.

The revised bid was pitched at a 52% premium to the stock’s closing price of 78p on 17 October, the day before Apax’s initial offer of 110p a share was announced.

The higher offer comes weeks after Coast Capital Management, the group’s second largest shareholder, advised investors to reject the bid as too low. Shares in Kin + Carta rose 8.5p, or 8.1%, to close at 111.75p.

A rise in metals prices helped restore upward momentum at Glencore and Rio Tinto, up by 7p to 453.5p and by 76p to 5568p, respectively. 

Retail chain Frasers said it is heading into the Christmas trading period with strong momentum after positive trading at Sports Direct.

It added that its international businesses underpinned the first half. 

Michael Murray, chief executive, said: “We are looking forward to our Christmas trading period and remain confident of achieving adjusted pre-tax profit in the range £500-£550 million.”

In the 26 weeks ending 29 October, Mike Ashley’s diversified retail group reported a 4.4% increase in revenue to £2.77 billion up from £2.65 billion the year before, with pre-tax profit climbing 8% to £310.2 million from £287.2 million.  

Margin improved to 43% from 42.7% while adjusted basic EPS jumped 18.3% to 53.7p from 45.4p. 

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