House prices saw their largest month-on-month rise in seven years in May, adding to signs that the market may be stabilising after falling almost without interruption since the end of 2007.

Prices rose by 2.6% to an average of £158,565, according to the Halifax index published yesterday. This was the biggest month-on-month gain since 2002 and the 11th biggest rise since the survey began in 1983, but followed three months of sharp price falls.

Comparing the past three months to the previous three months – a better indicator of the underlying trend – prices still fell by 3.1%. Although significant, this was less than the 5-6% declines seen through the second half of last year.

Financial Times, The Times, The Independent