The futures market has unsurprisingly taken an even darker view of house prices over the past month as the Tradition Future HPI latest figures show.

The market now puts the peak to trough fall in the average house price at 38% (as measured on the Halifax non-seasonally adjusted index). And this is expected over a four year period.

If you add in the effects of inflation the market is expecting in real terms a correction that sees house prices cut in half. Now I must admit that is something I didn't expect to happen, and on balance still don't, at least not without some qualifications.

I could well be wrong on that.

Now, I never bought into the "soft landing" argument and have since late 2003 thought house prices unsettling high (embarrassingly I fear I have bored friends and acquaintances on the risks beyond what is acceptable).

But equally I had never considered likely a fall of 50% in real terms, especially not if the correction were sharp.

Yet as the rules of what is normal are being rewritten it does, however, seem as if the worst possible is getting worse.