House prices have experienced another good month, with prices rising by 0.5% in February, according to figures released by the Halifax.
The average house price is now 1.9% higher than it was a year ago, currently standing at £163,600.
However, these latest figures have caused some confusion. Last week Nationwide claimed just a 0.3% rise in February, unchanged from the year before, and the Bank of England has reported a fall of £2.4bn in lending to individuals and businesses.
So, far from painting a clear picture, on the one hand house prices continue to rise, but lending fell, according to the Bank of England figures.
There are now renewed calls for lending criteria to be made less stringent, rates to be cut and more help given to first-time buyers and ‘second steppers’ to enable further growth in the sector. Last year, nearly two thirds of homeowners were unable to make the move to a new home due to insufficient deposits or negative equity in their current property, with deposits now doubled compared to a decade ago.