High-end properties at four year high

And the second highest price band (£250k to £500k) rose by 16% over the last 12 months as both price bands reached the highest level since 2010.

The index also revealed that homes worth more than £250k made up 41% of all the property that entered the market for sale in the second quarter of 2014. This compares to just 37% during the same period last year.

But the rental market, which had been seeing a steady growth each quarter, saw fewer newly advertised properties coming onto the market for rent – down 4.3% across the UK compared to Q2 in 2013. The fall was led mainly by the Outer Metropolitan and South East areas – down 10.5% and 8.8%.

The North East and Wales were the only areas to continue to see a growth in rental properties – up 4.3% and 1.8%.

Jonathan Westley, managing director of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “The growth in houses prices suggests that homeowners may have made reasonable capital gains on their existing properties, especially as they seek to move up the property ladder.

“Our latest index shows that higher-end properties now form a greater proportion of properties appearing for sale, implying it is now second or third time buyers, who are more active in the housing market. But, 59 per cent of all properties across the UK were still valued at less than £250k, so there are opportunities for those with smaller budgets.

“The challenge for people wanting to secure a mortgage is showing themselves in the best possible light to lenders; i.e. applicants who can afford the long term commitment, especially with an interest rate rise looming.

“Lenders have just as an important role to play ensuring they are not making decisions that could see a person fall into debt in the future. The more information they can source to fully understand a person’s individual circumstances, such as property information, the fairer the decision they can make about granting a mortgage.”