The uber-bearish traders in house price futures appear to have softened their view on the depth of the slump in house prices quite markedly over the past month or so.

At the turn of the year you could have bought a notional average house three years hence on the futures market for less than £110,000. That is against the peak price, as measured on the Halifax monthly non-seasonally adjusted index, of £201,081.

The May three year house price rose to £144,000 against £130,000 in April.

That puts the peak to trough cash fall at 28% against the near 45% fall priced in at the turn of the year.

For house builders looking to hedge against a future house price slump, the futures market may start to look attractive again if this trend continues.