Private landlords considering adding to their property portfolios may be encouraged to splash out on new homes after prices reportedly dropped this month.

Nationwide Building Society's latest housing figures indicated that there was a 0.4 per cent drop on the level recorded one month ago.

This comes after the financial services provider revealed a surprise hike in prices in March - the first time this had happened in nearly 18 months.

UK-based private landlords can now pick up bricks and mortar for an average cost of £151,861, while interest rates are expected to remain at record lows of 0.5 per cent for the rest of the year.

Chief economist at Nationwide Fionnuala Earley said there are a number of market trends that may encourage people to buy property in the near future, although she admitted many people will wait to see if prices drop any further.

"It is possible that the extended period of the higher [stamp duty] threshold will be more of an incentive for first-time buyers to enter the market now that affordability has improved due to falling interest rates and house prices,"she explained.

Written by Sarah Field

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