The shortage of homes coming on to the market is helping to keep house prices high, the Nationwide has reported.
The building society said that prices increased by 0.3% in July, the second month running there has been a rise.
Nationwide said the increase appeared to be at odds with recent signs of cooling in the housing market.
Over the last year, prices are up by 2.9%, slightly lower than last month’s rate of 3.1%.
Earlier this month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said estate agents had fewer properties on their books than at any time over the last 40 years.