The average cost of property has increased for a number of reasons - one being the lack of homes up for sale on the market at present.

At least that is the opinion of Catherine Hearnden, director of MyMortgageDirect, who said that people are managing to achieve house sales close to the asking price as a result.

Her comments come after Nationwide Building Society reported a 0.5 per cent increase in the price of the average UK home between October and November.

According to the company, the typical property cost £162,764 during the course of the month.

Commenting on the future direction of property values, Ms Hearnden remarked: "I think [they're] going to fluctuate because there is always a slight lag on these prices anyway."

Any further upward house price movement "would be very, very small increases", she added, before warning there could be surprises in the property market round the corner.

Written by John Weeks

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