House prices plunged by 16.2% during 2008 in the biggest drop for a calendar year on record, the Halifax has said.
Last year's price plummet, which came after the average value of a property in the UK fell 2.2% in December, was the biggest annual fall since the Halifax began recording data in 1983.
Britain's biggest mortgage lender said the typical price of a property now stands at £159,896 - back to August 2004 levels.
The drop in annual house price inflation measures prices in the previous three months compared with the same period a year ago.
But if house prices in December are compared with prices in December 2007, the fall is even more dramatic at 18.9%.
And Halifax warned that the property market will come under further pressure in 2009 as the financial crisis continues to restrict lending in the UK.
Bank of England figures today revealed that just 27,000 mortgages were approved for new house purchases during November, which was a new record low.
The Bank also said in its credit report that banks and building societies plan to cut back further on lending as the economic outlook worsens.
However, the Halifax offered hope that the downturn in the property market could be limited as housing affordability improves.
The lender said the house price to earnings ratio - a key affordability measure - had declined to its lowest level for more than five-and-a-half years.
First-time buyers (FTBs) may also be in line for some relief, with the proportion of local authorities where housing is affordable for FTBs more than trebling in 2008, according to the Halifax.
Economist Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight cautioned that, despite the interest rate falls and property price reduction, the outlook for the housing market remained "bleak".
He predicted house prices to fall by a further 15% on the Halifax measure in 2009. This would see property prices plummet by 32% in nominal terms from their August 2007 peak of £199,612 to stand at £135,912 at the end of this year, he said.
House price falls would then ease at the start of 2010 and flatten out in the latter months of the year, added Mr Archer.
He said: "Ongoing very tight credit conditions, still relatively stretched housing affordability on a number of measures, faster rising unemployment, muted income growth, widespread expectations that house prices are likely to fall a lot further - and an unwillingness of many people to commit to buying a house when the economic outlook and job prospects look so bad - form a powerful set of negative factors weighing down on the housing market."