Those in the housing industry will be mightily relieved by the Halifax figures released today.

Seasonally adjusted the rise in the price of an average house was put at 1.9%. Unadjusted the rise was a less spectacular 0.9% with about £1,300 added to the average house price.

However shortlived this upward blip proves to be, it may just dispel the gloom for some and increase their willingness to buy homes. And it will no doubt provide food and drink for the "green shooters". And if it makes people feel better, I am not one to complain.

But for me these numbers don't even qualify on the dead cat bounceometer. I see them more as a dead dog twitch.

Here are four reasons why: January can be a freaky month for figures; the data are very skittish anyway at the moment; sample sizes have decreased and are generally less representative of the overall market; and we have yet to see the impact of unemployment on the market.

Apologies for my dismissive approach on this one, but in part it is a reaction to being bombarded by interested parties pointing to signs of recovery. I am willing, even happy to be proved wrong, but I don't see them.

I note that the chief economist at Halifax qualified his comments on "early signs that market activity may be stabilising", with the comment "...continuing pressures on incomes, rising unemployment and the negative impact of the dislocation of the financial markets on the availability of mortgage finance are expected to mean that 2009 will be a difficult year for the housing market".

But it might just be better to concentrate of fixing the problems first, rather than looking for the signs of a recovery, which will in time arrive. A watched pot and all that.