House prices in Britain continued to rise in October as demand for housing was boosted by the current low level of mortgage payments, lender Halifax said on Wednesday. Halifax, now part of the Lloyds Banking Group, said in its monthly house price index report that house prices in the three months to October increased by 1.6 percent compared with the previous three months. However, the price rise was still the smallest increase since May and has slowed compared with quarterly rises of 2 to 2.1 percent in each of the previous four months. House prices increased by 0.7 percent in October, which was the ninth consecutive monthly increase. "Demand has increased this year, putting upward pressure on house prices and increasing levels of activity," said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. He believed that the low interest rates, and higher consumer confidence supported by the increasing evidence that a sustainable economic recovery were the main factor helping to increase housing demand. The government-supported schemes, such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, also appear to have boosted demand, Ellis said. Typical mortgage payments for a new borrower, both first-time buyers and home-movers, at the long-term average loan to value ratio, accounted for 27 percent of disposable earnings in the third quarter of this year. According to figures from the Bank of England, the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases, a leading indicator of completed house sales, in the three months to September was 11 percent higher than in the previous quarter.