The latest Nationwide survey shows house prices rose by 0.3% in May, but are still 0.7% lower than a year ago.

The price of a typical home is now £166,022.

There is evidence that the strong performance of the buy-to let market has supported house prices from further erosion. Investors looking to find returns that are better than from a bank and less volatile than the stock market, are seeking buy-to-let investments as their preferred alternative.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, says: “Prices were up by a modest 0.3% over the month, and were just 0.7% lower than May last year, even though the UK economy dipped back into recession in Q1, and showed few signs of a significant pickup in economic activity at the start of Q2.”