Nationwide, Britain's biggest building society, warned yesterday of the dangers of a housing crash if interest rates continue to be hiked up aggressively. The Independent

Unveiling another increase in house prices, which pushed the annual rate of increase from 9.3% to 10.2%, Nationwide said prices could fall sharply if borrowing costs were lifted above 6%. But it predicted a soft landing if rates were raised only once or twice more, to 5.5% or 5.75%.

The average price of a home rose by 0.9% to £180,314 in April - the biggest one-month increase for four months.