The latest Nationwide data on house prices is yet another pointer to suggst the slide in house prices is far from over.

The April figure saw the average price fall by 0.4% in April after the upward blip of 0.9% a month earlier.

The optimists may suggest this is a bottoming out in the market. There is always a possibility that they may be proved right, but the balance of probability has to be on a continued slip in prices.

While there may be gloom in the news and real pain in some sectors of the population, the reality or indeed the threat of economic woes have still to filter through to the majority of homeowners or those considering buying a home.

Indeed there is a large proportion of households with mortgages enjoying a major boost to their disposable income as a result of falling mortgage rates.

The effects of a recession will take time to seep into the economy, because households in the main can absorb a certain amount of pain before they reach a point where, say, they may have to consider taking drastic action such as to move home or sell up.

And we have yet to see the full impact of unemployment, which is expected to continue rising for some while yet.

So as the recession relentlessly grinds its way through household after household, as unemployment rises, the mood will change. That is if it follows the patterns of past recessions.

Until we are through this period we should remain cautious about the willingness of increasing numbers of ordinary folk to take the plunge into the housing market or decide to trade up.

Naturally, everyone's personal circumstances will be different, and even where they are similar there will be a mix of views and choices. Quite rightly, it will favour some to buy into the market.

But on balance, with such high levels of uncertainty, it does look as if the pointers are facing more in the direction of confidence falling than rising. And you need to feel confident if you are about to shell out hundreds of thousands of pounds.