Prices rise 0.9% on average in February according to building society

The price of an average house rose 0.9% in March compared with the previous month, according to the Nationwide.

Prices went up for the first time since October 2007, reported the buidlng society, with an average home costing £150,946 compared to £147,746 in February.

Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's chief economist, refused to call the bottom of the market, saying that while the rise in prices in March was welcome, it was far too soon to see this as evidence that the trough of the market had been reached.

The company called the upward movement in house prices a surprise.