Further evidence if more were needed of the fragility of the housing market was provided today by the housing data business Hometrack.

The national picture shows prices down 1.1% in November and 8.1% down over the past 12 months and a continued fall in buyers and properties for sale.

Sellers are also taking ever bigger discounts from asking price, with the national average discount in November at 11.1%. It was 10% in September.

Richard Donnell, head of research at Hometrack, sees further falls as inevitable and points to London and the South East as the weakest market with the greatest "mismatch" between supply and demand.

But as Richard points out there are hundreds of markets all performing very differently that go to make up the regional and national pictures.

From a "getting the market moving" point of view Richard says that there are continued signs that sellers are becoming more realistic on pricing.

But as he also points out the market has been stripped back to the bare bones with just a relatively small number of committed buyers able to access finance and needs-based sellers willing becoming more realistic on the price they will accept.

Certainly there is nothing in the data that points to a Christmas present for the housing market.