The decline in house prices will continue over the next 12 months, with values set to fall by a further five per cent, according to an expert.

David Bexon, managing director of SmartNewHomes.com, claimed that the current climate made it "exceptionally hard"to predict future progress.

However, he suggested that any improvement in the market would not take shape until the latter part of next year.

"While I predict some light at the end of the tunnel in 2009, any kind of recovery for the market will be modest at best,"he said.

Mr Bexon explained that homeowners would have to wait until late in the year for the slide to arrest, with single-figure price growth expected in 2010.

The report also revealed that interest rates are expected to remain low throughout 2009, and claimed that borrowers must see the recent base rate cuts passed on in order to generate any improvement in activity.

Nationwide reported that house prices fell by 0.4 per cent in November compared with a 1.3 per cent drop in the previous month.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18926910-ADNFCR

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