House prices rose for a second consecutive month in April, official figures published yesterday showed, providing another fillip for the housing market.

The average property changed hands for £189,215 in April, up by 1.1% from £187,193 in March, figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government indicate.

The encouraging signs from the housing market, where estate agents are reporting record numbers of buyer inquiries, has prompted some economists to revise their forecasts for house prices.

Capital Economics, which has one of the gloomiest outlooks for house prices, now predicts that prices will fall by 10% this year, rather than by its initial estimate of 20 per cent. It also expects price falls next year to moderate from 10% to between 5% and 7%.

This came as homeowners keen to boost the value of their property were advised to expand into their attic. A loft conversion increases the value of the average home by £26,000, according to a report by Nationwide Building Society.

The Times