Today the Item Club released a special report on house prices that suggests a further fall in the first half of next year.

It sees the recent rise as a false dawn and says it will be another five years before prices get close to the peak they reached in 2007.

Like many others the ITEM Club suggests that the current buoyancy is down to a shortage of stock on the market and that unemployment rising will put downward pressure on the market.

"A small number of cash-rich buyers have supported prices, but the supply of these funds is limited, which means prices are likely to dip again in the first half of next year," says Hetal Mehta, Senior Economic Advisor to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.