House prices rose for the third month in a row in July, putting them higher than at any other time in the year.
Figures from Nationwide show the average value of a UK home rose by 1.3 per cent during the month to stand at £158,871.
Over the seven months of 2009, prices have risen by an average of 1.3 per cent and could go even higher, the building society said.
Nationwide’s chief economist Martin Gahbauer added: “Only a few months ago such an outcome would have appeared unthinkable.”
June saw a 9.3 per cent year-on-year decline in average prices, but this jumped to 6.2 per cent in July, and adds to Bank of England data showing the number of mortgages approved for house purchase rose for the fifth month in a row during June to the highest level for more than a year.
Nationwide puts February as the lowest point of the market, with prices registering a 17.6 per cent annual decline.
However, the building society said house values had been “remarkably resilient” so far this year despite the deepening recession and rising unemployment.