House prices increased by 0.5 per cent in May, according to the latest house price index from Halifax.
This follows significant monthly rises and falls recorded in the previous two months – 2.2 per cent in March and a fall of 2.3 per cent in April.
The average UK house price is now £160,941.
Prices in the three months to May were 0.8 per cent higher than in the preceding three months.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “Whilst there has been a modest improvement in the trend for house prices recently, the current average UK price is very similar to the levels both a year ago and at the beginning of this year.
“We expect this situation to continue with prices likely to still be around today’s levels at the end of 2012 as the ongoing tough economic environment constrains housing demand.”