The housing market is getting tougher with 15 homes on sale to every buyer, according to the latest research by the website Rightmove. And although asking prices dipped this month they remain at about the same level as last year.

Set this against the usually conservative predictions from the HBOS, which in a recent trading update put the likely fall in houses at 9% this year, and it is clear there is significant mismatch in buyers and sellers expectations.

This does rather point to more tense months in the housing market where the only thing that gives in the market is the level of sales as a "standoff" between buyers and sellers continues.