House prices could fall by 25 per cent from peak says Nationwide chief

Mr Beale sees the key to the recovery as a change in the attitude of lenders to risk, as at present there is a supply problem of mortgages to those seeking high LTVs, high multiples to earnings or those with less than perfect credit histories. It is not, he points out liquidity that is preventing lending to these customers but lenders aversion to risk. If you have a large deposit and a clean credit history you will find plenty of choice in the market.

Mr Beale points out that sub prime was never an area where the Nationwide ventured themselves.

He also says there is clearly a correlation between the health of the US market and the UK market and that lending comes down to market confidence.

The National Association of Estate Agents chief executive Peter Bolton King does not agree with the Nationwide prediction as he points out the the previous drivers of the market still continue to exist including a general shortage of supply and an increase in the number of household units. He goes on to refer to an OECD report that he agrees with predicting that the market will bottom out in the middle of 2009 and will therefore not drag through until 2010 as the Nationwide predicts.