Summer of discontent ahead in housing market

UK homeowners may begin to forget the notion of moving home if Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cables predictions are anything to go by.

The politicians response to the Nationwide announcement that house prices had fallen by 15.9 per cent in 2008 was hardly an optimistic one and some may take it as a sign that it is time to improve rather than move.

"Prices have now fallen nearly 20 per cent from their peak and may well have just as far to fall again," he said.

"Although ministers are talking the talk on mortgage equity and repossessions, in practice the ideas are not being followed through.

"The government should take advantage of the slump in land prices to get housing associations and councils commissioning new social housing, which would stop big building firms from going under."

With a hot summer predicted, Brits may choose to spend the warmer months at home rather than abroad, and a conservatory or glazed canopy can be a great way to derive maximum enjoyment from the garden and the good weather.

At the other end of the world Australians are enjoying a heat wave, with Perth reporting ten consecutive days of 32 C-plus temperatures.