The housing market has a spring to its step in February, according to the Nationwide index. After a softer start to the year house price rose by 0.7% in February, surpassing January’s 0.3% rise. Property experts believe house price growth is likely to remain solid until the middle of the year.

This month’s house price rises come as a relief to agents. Last year prices fell by 0.2% in February and did not pick up until the beginning of the second quarter. ‘Barring a drastic shift in market momentum, house price growth could well remain firm until the middle of the year,’ said Kelvin Davidson from Capital Economics.

But experts are not convinced the trend will continue. ‘House price pressures are still likely to weaken markedly,’ Mr Davidson added.