Houses now worth what they were six years ago

It is unlikely that homeowners who bought their property in April 2003 would have expected it to be worth the same amount almost six years later, but that is the case according to the latest figures.

House prices in the UK plummeted by a massive 16.2 per cent in 2008 and show no sign of recovery.

According to the Halifax figures, the 2.2 per cent drop in December has left new homeowners facing the fact that their property may not be worth what it once was.

Those in that position may not be so pleased with Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis prediction that values could continue to fall in 2009 even if a resurgence of activity resumes.

"Improving housing affordability and an easing in the pressure on the majority of households finances should support market activity and prices," he said.

"The house price-to-earnings ratio – a key affordability measure – is at its lowest for five and a half years."

Some may consider improving their home as a way of recovering some of the value lost during the market crash.

A new conservatory or stylish glazed extension could help improve the home aesthetically as well as boosting its value.

The news that Halifax does not intend to publish a prediction of house prices for 2009 does not bode well for the market, with some suggesting this could mean further falls are in store.