Housing market to remain nasty

The housing market is set to continue to be a very "nasty place" for a long time, it has been suggested.

Property expert Paul Homes pointed out that when house prices collapse the way they have, they tend to make a slow recovery.

The Firstrung chief executive explained that the industry took a turn for the worse in August 2008, when things "started to get very nasty".

He predicted that estate agents would soon start telling customers that there would be a "spring bounce" in the market, but that this was unlikely to actually happen.

Mr Homes stated that a lot of people are on large mortgages and "if they are on a £400,000 house with a £250,000 mortgage then they are not going to want to be told that the house is only worth £200,000".

Recent figures from the Halifax House Price Index show that houses fell in value by 2.3 per cent in February.

The rapidly falling prices may encourage some homeowners to forget about moving and concentrate on improving their property with things like conservatories or glazed kitchen extensions.