Just to further show how difficult it is to forecast the UK property market prices at the moment, both the Halifax and the Nationwide have refused to publish their usual annual house price forecast for 2009.

The Halifax blames its merger with Lloyds TSB for the reason it is refusing.

Both banks state they intend to continue publishing their monthly house price indices, both of which have shown an overall decline in 2008.

Even the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said that it agrees with the banks, that trying to predict house prices for next years is a ‘futile’ exercise, but many experts agree they believe there will be a further fall, although how much remains to be seen.

As lenders have started to relax their criteria recently a little, 2009 could be a good time for some first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

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