Private landlords with large portfolios of properties may have seen the value of their homes increase this month.

Nationwide Building Society has released its latest housing market index, and it shows that the price of property in the UK has gone up 1.2 per cent in May.

The average cost of a UK home is now £154,016 in May - which is 11.3 per cent down on 2008's equivalent figure, but less of an annual drop than previous months.

Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's chief economist, remarked: "Although the short-term trend in house prices has clearly improved from where it was at the beginning of the year, it is still too early to say that the market is turning definitively."

Citing the example of the recession in the early 1990s, he explained that there is still the chance property prices will drop again in the coming months.

More house price figures will be made available on Monday when the Land Registry releases its geographical breakdown of housing costs in England and Wales.

Written by Claire Doyle

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