Property prices in England and Wales rose by nearly £1,500 this month while the number of sellers jumped by a fifth, boosting hopes that the housing market may be over the worst.

The average home is being put on the market with a price tag of £227,864, up from £226,436 in June, figures from Rightmove, the property website, show. This is the fifth rise in the past six months, prompting Rightmove to say that the market has already bottomed out.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: 'There were some fire-sale prices last winter, when a few brave buyers correctly called the bottom of the market. In most parts of the country, prices have consistently improved during spring.'

House prices plummeted by more than 20% in the 18 months after the market peaked in autumn 2007, but many of the leading house-price surveys have registered rises in recent months.

The Times