House prices across the UK could drop by a further ten per cent over the course of 2009, a new report has concluded.

Spelling good news for the nation's landlords, new predictions from Rightmove point to ongoing declines for the foreseeable future as the fallout from the global credit crunch continues to be felt in the property sector.

Next year's falls would be on top of the ten per cent drop in asking prices witnessed since May, a trend which has seen growing numbers of professionals turn to rental property until the market bottoms out.

Backing up the firm's predictions, commercial director Miles Shipside noted: "The market will be affected by the unemployment that's coming. While it's sad, we do need to reach the bottom, and that will probably happen in 2009."

At the same time, a new report from Construction Products Association and Ernst &Young has revealed that the number of new housing starts in the UK has dropped from 203,500 to 135,000 in just one year, with landlords benefitting from the movement towards the rental sector.

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