The average house prices has been falling by £4,000 monthly over the past three months as the pace of decline in the market has accelerated, according to HBOS figures. In May house prices were down 2.4%.

So, if you had your house valued at £199,600 last August (the peak reached by Halifax's standard average house price) there's a fair chance your net worth has fallen by £15,489.

And if falls continue at the same rate until the end of this year, you'll be notionally more than £40,000 poorer and house prices will have fallen about 22% from peak.

Little wonder then that some City analysts are predicting sale prices of new homes down by around 20% and the OECD expects a weakening UK economy to experience falling property prices.

But there is always an upside - if not for the house builders and contractors who make a living out of contructing Britain's new homes - house price falls are going some way to addressing the affordability issue, according to Hometrack research.