The engine of the British economy, the housing market, looks set to splutter to a halt. Figures released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) indicate that house price declines in June stayed close to the most widespread decline since RICs began to measure the property market in 1978.
The number of residential property agents and surveyors saying prices fell exceeded those reporting gains by 88%, in May it was 92%.
To add to the market's woes, RICS state that property sales have fallen to the lowest on record. Additionally mortgage approvals fell to the lowest in at least nine years in May, many buyers are finding themselves frozen out by tight lending conditions.
The Bank of England, as it considers what to do with interest rates and easing liquidity, would do well to bear in mind that the housing market is the engine of the economy.
Kill that off, and the economy dies with it.