If you take an optimistic view of life you may find some comfort in the latest housing market survey from the surveyors' body RICS.

For pessimists there remains plenty of scope for concern.

A glimmer of hope can be found in the fact that the survey found that in some regions there were more agents expecting sales to increase than to fall further. These were East Anglia, South West, Wales and the South East.

Very early, but this may be read as a sign of a bottoming out.

Though, not without wishing to prick any bubbles of joy, the more likely explanation is that with sales so low it is hard to see any way they can go but up. Also, the four regions where agents on balance expect sales to rise have all been brutalised over recent months.

Overall the picture for September was much as has been the case for some while, only worse. Sales have plunged, with agents selling on average less than one property a week in September.

London appears to have tanked after shrugging off the worst for some while.

There it seems the average agent has sold just eight properties over the past three months.

Prices continue to fall across the board and there is a near universal acceptance that they will fall further.