The Bank of England is under intense pressure to cut interest rates again tomorrow after house prices fell by the biggest margin since the early 1990s crash and ministers tried to prevent a spate of repossessions. The Times, The Independent

Gordon Brown insisted that the latest falls — 2.5%, or nearly £5,000 for a typical property in March, according to the Halifax — were containable after the big gains of the past decade.

The figures showed, however, that annual house price growth has slowed to its lowest level for 12 years. Property prices rose by only 1.1% during the past 12 months, meaning that they are falling annually in real terms.