House prices up by 8.5pc

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“With prices levelling out and even tailing off a little in the past month, we could be seeing the first signs of resistance from buyers who are not prepared to pay what sellers are asking.

“If buyers are being sensible and refusing to pay over the odds because they can’t afford it, then that is a good thing. While interest rates are low at the moment, they won’t always be and working out whether you can afford your mortgage when rates do rise is a reasonable strategy.

“However, this may just be a blip rather than the beginning of a downwards trend in prices. Prices still rose on the quarter and on the year. And while the market may be adjusting, there are pockets of the London housing market where it is still crazy busy while in other parts of the country talk of a bubble is laughable. A national average house price is not at all helpful, as regional variations tend to be significant.”

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