© Press Association 2010

Annual house price growth reached double figures for the first time in nearly three years during April, research has shown.

The average cost of a UK home rose by 10.5% during the 12 months to the end of April, the first time annual house price inflation has reached double figures since June 2007, according to Nationwide.

The rate was boosted by a 1% jump in house prices during April itself, leaving the average home costing £167,802.

But the group said the figure was also helped by the fact that April 2009 was one of the weakest months for house prices during 2009. It also warned that it was unlikely that annual house price inflation would remain in double digit territory during the coming months.

Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's chief economist, said: "Given the very strong performance of house prices from May 2009 onwards, it will take monthly increases in excess of 1% for the annual rate of inflation to be maintained in double digits going forward."

The group also pointed out that the three-month-on-three-month rate of growth, which is considered to be a smoother indicator of market trends, was continuing to decline.

The rate dropped to 1% during the three months to the end of April, down from 1.5% in the three months to the end of March, and the seventh consecutive month during which it has fallen.

The recovery in the housing market which has been seen during the past year has been largely driven by the supply of homes up for sale being unable to keep up with demand from potential buyers.

But recent reports have suggested that, while the rate at which new buyers are registering with estate agents appears to have stabilised, there has been an increase in the number of people looking to sell their home.

Mr Gahbauer said: "All else (being) equal, this should lead to a gradual flattening out of the recent upward price momentum, and this is indeed what the three-month trend in April's figures shows."