HOUSE prices in Hammersmith anf Fulham have plummeted by more than one fifth since this time last year, new research shows - dropping three per cent further than the London average.
Figures released by Nationwide building society reveal prices in Hammersmith and Fulham fell 21 per cent between March 2008 and March 2009, with only nine other boroughs experiencing bigger falls.
The speed at which values are tumbling has accelerated, it is claimed - in December, the average cost of a home in the borough was just 15 per cent lower than the previous year.
But estate agents in Fulham say the market has picked up and are confident prices will stabilise, despite wider fears that values will continue to fall over the coming months.
Mark Barnett, director of Chesterton estate agents in Fulham Road, said: "Activity is very good - we're selling a lot of properties compared to the last six months of last year, which was dire.
"Prices are starting to stabilise more, and it will probably remain as a level playing field for a few years to come.
"What we're seeing now is a shortage of property as a lot of people are choosing to rent their properties and not sell them. The demand has certainly come back, but the supply isn't there."
Nationwide claims the average price of a home in Hammersmith and Fulham is now £405,500, compared to a London average of £242,500.
The biggest fall over the last year was in Newham, which experienced a 28 per cent drop, followed by Haringey, Merton, Lambeth, Westminster, Ealing and Lewisham. Richmond-upon-Thames and Sutton also saw falls of 21 per cent.
Tom de Winton, manager of John D Wood in King's Road, Fulham, said prices in the borough's less desirable areas had plummeted further than elsewhere.
"It really does depend on location," he said. "At the moment, properties within five minutes of Parsons Green are attracting a lot of interest and a lot of viewings, while those slightly further away are, in general, definitely down.
"I'd agree that the maximum downturn for the central Fulham market is 20 per cent, and in other areas it's a bit more pessimistic at around 25 to 30 per cent.
Homes priced realistically at current levels are selling quickly, he said, adding: "We've been been exceptionally busy recently-ñ it's the best we've experienced for a good two years."
The figures come following a crackdown by Hammersmith and Fulham Council on illegal estate agents' boards.
Council officers targeted Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham Road, New Kings Road, and adjoining streets and ordered firms to take down 350 boards which had been left up for more than 14 days.
Crime and street scene leader Greg Smith said: "A plethora of tacky estate agent boards can really bring down an area and brings no benefits to residents or even the estate agents themselves.
"Estate agents agree that making the streets look nicer can lead to higher house prices and, while the majority play by the rules, there are the odd few that simply could not care less."