The housing market slump is close to ending, with prices set to bottom out later this year and begin rising again by 2011, the City is predicting.

A growing majority of economists are calling the end of a housing crash that has so far wiped about a fifth, or more than £40,000 on average, off home values.

A poll of economists by Reuters found a consensus that house prices will drop by 8% this year — having so far fallen by about 3 per cent since January and by 16% during the past year.

But the City’s experts are betting that average prices will then stay broadly flat next year and start rising again from 2011, climbing by 2%.

The Times