House prices increased by 0.7% in March, almost wiping out Februarys fall of 0.8% according to Nationwide’s latest House Price Index. The report now sets the average UK house price at £164,519, 9% higher than a year ago. The modest increase will be due in part to a lack of new stock coming to the market, rather than a thriving marketplace, especially as the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase dipped sharply in January, and only showed a small recovery in February. Overall, mortgage lending increased to an estimated £9.2 billion in February, a 6% rise from January, according to the Bank of England, with remortgage activity up by a healthy 12%. Mortgage lending remains in line with the Council of Mortgage Lenders forecast of £150 billion for the year.