The price of UK property rose for the seventh consecutive monthly increase by 0.3 per cent in July, according to figures from a leading property organisation.

The figures revealed that home sellers raised their asking price to an average £253,658. Predicted values will now climb 4.0% this year instead of the 2.0% previously forecast.

Asking prices in London have remained high but relatively constant at a record £515,379.

"A combination of apparent economic stability internationally - or at least, less widely-reported turmoil - and some signs of an economic upturn nationally mean more home movers are willing and able to increase their financial commitments," said property expert Miles Shipside.

"Barring a raft of bad economic news, we expect the positive impact of this on the property market to continue."
The report added to signs the property market was improving, providing a boost to the UK economy.

The Ernst & Young Item Club on Monday raised its forecast for UK economic growth this year, saying it will expand 1.1% this year, compared to an April estimate of 0.6%.

Higher confidence, increased mortgage availability, lower rates and new Government's schemes such as NewBuy and Help to Buy - which give first time buyers with small deposits a lift onto the property ladder - have all combined to encourage more housing market activity.

There are concerns, however, that these Government schemes could lead to another 'property bubble', with mortgage borrowers trying to stretch their finances too far.

The property website revised its predictions for house price increases from 2 to 4 per cent this year and said it expects London to continue to outperform the rest of the country.

It also expects the South East to maintain its 'strong momentum', driven by an on-going shortage of homes for sale which has the effect of strengthening competition among buyers.