House prices in Britain fell again in January by 0.3%. It was their fourth straight month of decline as prospective buyers delayed purchases deterred by the high cost of borrowing and the global credit crisis.
A survey by market research company Hometrack found the average time it takes to sell a property has gone up to eight and a half weeks. The Bank of England is expected to cut interest rates when it means on 7 February.
Across the Atlantic, there was more grim news for the battered US housing industry. Sales of new homes fell by a much worst than expected 4.7% in December to their lowest rate in over twelve years, average sales prices dropped sharply and the inventory of unsold properties climbed. Analysts expect that the figures will influence the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, to cut interest rates by as much as half a per cent when it meets later this week.