2008 saw the biggest drop in house prices for a calendar year on record, according to Halifax. They report that last year saw a fall of 16.2% in house prices.

The average house price is now £159,799, which brings these prices back to August 2004 levels. These figures are coupled with further statistics from Halifax which show that the number of mortgage approvals hit a record low last November, with just 27,000 loans agreed.

The bank’s chief economist, Martin Ellis, comments: “Continuing pressures on incomes and the negative impact of the dislocation of financial markets on the availability of mortgage finance are expected to exert further downward pressure on the market over the coming months.”