More homes are being put up for sale and more are also finding buyers, but at prices well below sellers' expectations. As a result, the average sale price is now 88% of the figure at which a property is first marketed, according to the latest survey from Hometrack, the housing data group.

This reinforces the message coming from all parts of the property market — that house hunters are demanding bargains amid forecasts of further price subsidence.

However, Hometrack's numbers do present evidence of signs of life in a previously becalmed market, with new buyer registrations rising by 17% and agreed sales up by 36% in February, after falls in the previous few months. A few agents are reporting multiple bids for some properties, with correctly priced homes going under offer relatively quickly.

The Times, Financial Times