If the RICS housing market survey has failed to provide enough gloom, here's the story from across the Atlantic. Foreclosures (repossessions) in March up 57% on the same month a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

RealtyTrac also suggests that things are so bad that more defaulting homeowners are simply walking away and leaving their properties to the bank. Memories, and bad ones, come to mind of the early 1990s in the UK.