Rics: House prices to continue to fall in 2009

It may be Christmas tomorrow but the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has delivered an unwanted early present for the housing market.

That present comes in the form of a prediction that house prices will continue to fall into 2009.

The estimated peak-to-trough fall will be at least 25 per cent, according to the Rics housing market forecast.

Such a fall could result in a number of homeowners choosing to stay put and improve their existing property rather than look elsewhere.

Whereas previously there were limited options in home improvement, recent innovations in the use of glass as a building material have meant that homeowners are free to be creative with their property.

And with Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn predicting another tough year for the housing market, a glazed extension could be just the thing to revitalise the home.

"Lenders are likely to remain cautious in the near term in the absence of any guarantees on mortgage backed securities," Mr Rubinsohn said.

"This, coupled with an increasingly gloomy economic picture, suggests that house prices will continue to decline in 2009."