Nearly £1,000 is being wiped off the value of the average house each week, leaving homes worth no more than they were three years ago.

According to the Halifax, the country’s biggest lender, the average house is worth £168,176 – £33,000 less than the peak in August last year, when they averaged £201,081. Property prices have fallen back to levels last seen in October 2005.

The average home lost £4,000 in value in the past month – £923 a week. Prices are falling far faster than in the early 1990s, when the crash was relatively steady, spread over nearly three years. Economists say house prices have not fallen as sharply as the current 15 per cent a year since at least 1931.

Some 45,000 homes are expected to be repossessed this year, but this number is expected to rise, forcing prices still lower and pushing thousands into negative equity.