UK house price growth unexpectedly picked up in August, underpinned by strong employment growth and a shortage of properties on the market, according to Britain’s biggest mortgage lender. The average price of a house rose by 1.1%, reported The Halifax. Prices in the three months prior to August were 2.6% higher than a year earlier. UK home sales have exceeded 100,000 for seven months running. Between June and July they edged up to 104,760, the highest level since March 2016, according to HMRC.