Property prices have increased by 7.7 per cent over the last 12 months, according to Halifax.

The building society reported that the increase was the largest since October 2007, with the market being subjected to a higher demand and an insufficient number of homes available for potential buyers.

Homebuyers may need to dig into their pockets but as more people look to keep hold of their houses instead of moving, the demand for loft conversions on the Wirral, and in other areas of the UK, is sure to grow.

Month on month, prices increased by more than one per cent to reach a UK average of £174,910. However, according to recent housing market research, the typical cost remains at 12 per cent below its 2007 peak.

The government’s Help to Buy scheme moved into its latest phase in October. The initiative aims to help people with small deposits to take their first or next steps on the property ladder. It provides government loans to those with deposits of as little as five per cent.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist for Halifax, said:

“The annual rate of price increase rose again, with prices in the three months to November 7.7 per cent higher than in the same three months last year.

“Stronger demand, combined with an insufficient increase in housing supply, has resulted in increases in house prices accompanying higher activity this year.”

He said that favourable interest rates and increased consumer confidence, as well as initiatives like Help to Buy and Funding for Lending, seem to have caused a higher demand.