DCLG reveals 2 per cent house price rise

The DCLG research also highlighted that house price inflation fell slightly in March to 3.3 per cent from 3.4 per cent the month before.

The figures point towards a buoyant housing market at present and Jonathan Cornell, technical director at Hamptons International Mortgages, agreed.

He said: “All the stuff we are seeing shows house prices are on the way up and we are seeing good demand across all sectors of the housing market.”

This backed up the DCLG figures, which showed that demand for flats (7.7 per cent), terraced housing (1.7 per cent) and detached housing (1 per cent) all increased last month.

However, the House Price Index also showed inflation on properties bought by first-time buyers (FTBs) was actually up from 4.2 per cent in February to 4.6 per cent in March.

FTBs now pay on average £145,214 for their first property, a rise of 2.8 per cent from February, and it seems there is no help in sight for this end of the market in terms of a house price reduction.

Joe Wiggins, media relations executive at Abbey, said: “Affordability for first-time buyers is still stretched but we would urge them not to panic buy even if inflation continues to go up. It is important for them to get their finances in order before going out to buy.”

Tony Capon, head of intermediary sales at Salt, believed there is hope for house prices. “All-in-all, the picture is not entirely clear and the uncertainty surrounding interest rates and inflation means that house prices will probably have to level off in the second half of this year.”