U.K. house prices rose for a fourth consecutive month in November, and mortgage approvals climbed to their highest in 18 months as the economy started to emerge from the recession.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose 0.2% from the previous month, to $258,000, Hometrack Ltd. said in a report issued Monday. Lenders granted 57,345 mortgages in October, compared with 56,205 in September, a separate Bank of England report said. That was the most since March 2008.

"It's encouraging and moving in the right direction to support the housing market," said Alan Clarke, an economist at BNP Paribas in London. "We'll come out of recession in the fourth quarter, but I'm not sure we'll be able to maintain the momentum."

Consumer confidence in the United Kingdom fell 4 points, to minus-17 in November, GfK NOP said in a separate report Monday. A gauge of whether people think this a good time for major purchases declined seven points, to minus-19.

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