Each week with each piece of data and each new forecast the balance of probability weighs increasingly heavily on the side of house prices falling rather than remaining flat this year.

Today we see released the spring Item Club economic outlook for business and the latest Rightmove figures on asking prices for housing. Both are substantially less confident about house price than at the start of the year. Rightmove has eased on its confident postition of a flat market this year and the Item Club has moved from its winter forecast position of a flat market to 5% falls this year and next.

But to comfort those who are unduly fearful, David Miles (one of the Morgan Stanley team forecasting a 20% real-term fall in house prices) writing in the Sunday Telegraph suggests this is not as frightening a prospect for most of us as we may fear.