Follow the money they say. Well the money punted in the futures market suggests that average house prices still have at least 17% to fall.

That puts the peak-to-trough drop at more than a third.

But the good news for those selling homes is that the mood among the traders has perked up over the past three months, which in a sense is a barometer of the mood generally.

In November and December last year you could have bought a notional average house for about £110,000 on the three year forward price, now you would have to pay above £130,000. That is, of course, if you have the cash to trade in this particular game.

The figures produced by Tradition Futures HPI index the average house price against the Halifax non-seasonally adjusted measure which stood at £201,081 at peak in August 2007.

So even though the mood in the futures market is more bullish on house prices than at the turn of the year, the players still buying on the basis of prices falling a further 17% and ending up 35% down in cash terms from the peak by the time the bottom is reach in 2012.

As Peter Sceats, director of the real estate division of Tradition, points out investors appear to have missed out on the opportunity to buy "virtual houses" at such discounted prices.

Still that's speculation for win some, you lose some, you miss some. But reassuringly there will be other opportunities to win, lose or miss out.