(Source: Bloomberg)

U.K. house prices rose for a third month in April after mortgage availability improved, Rightmove Plc said today.

The average asking price rose 1.8 percent from March to 222,077 pounds ($328,000), the operator of the biggest U.K. residential property Web site said today. It fell 3.2 percent in London, the only region of 10 surveyed to show a decline. Home prices are down 7.3 percent from a year earlier.

Mortgage approvals rose 19 percent in February as the Bank of England cut the key interest rate to a record low of 0.5 percent and started buying assets to ease credit strains in the economy. Policy maker Kate Barker said yesterday house prices may rebound as banks ease lending terms.

“It looks like we are now bumping along the bottom of the trough,” Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s commercial director, said in the statement. “For there to be any real sense of optimism that we’re on a sustainable road to recovery, the availability of mortgage finance needs to improve significantly.”

Read Jennifer Ryan’s full article “U.K. House Asking Prices Increased in April, Rightmove Says” in Bloomberg (April 20, 2009).

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