The average price of new homes in the UK rose in the third quarter for the first time since 2007, according to data from Nationwide

Figures released on Friday by the building society found a new UK home was about £164,000, compared with £158,000 in the previous quarter. The new-build market peaked two years ago, when the average cost of a dwelling was £192,000.

The figures were backed up by housebuilder Countryside Properties, which said it had put up prices across five sites in south-east England.

Alan Cherry, chairman of Countryside, said the increases of between 3% and 8% for family homes exceeded earlier forecasts. He said, “It’s the first time we’ve seen an opportunity to put up the prices for a long time”. He said he thought the rise was explained by increased availability of mortgages.

“We’re still cautious and worried we could see a double dip as unemployment rises and the election brings uncertainty.”

Meanwhile, the Halifax reported that prices in the second hand market had risen 1.6% in September, the third monthly increase in a row. It attributed the rise to low availability and increased affordability.