House prices recorded their largest annual increase in more than a year in April, according to Nationwide.

The 0.9% year-on-year rise took average prices to £165,586, the building society says (see our Cheap Mortgage Finding guide for help on getting the best deal).

On a month-on-month basis, prices dipped 0.1%, while quarterly prices were up 0.5% in April.

Mortgage approvals for house purchases are also up, averaging 53,000 a month so far this year. This compares with 51,000 a month during 2012.

There have been more mortgages on the market since the Government launched the Funding for Lending scheme last August, giving lenders access to cheap finance.

In the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne also announced the Help to Buy scheme, which will give more people a helping hand to buy a home with a deposit as low as 5% (see the Help to Buy mortgage scheme to launch MSE News story).

Martin Lewis
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House prices