The City will give Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, an intense grilling when he unveils full-year results for the beleaguered house builder this week.

Barratt, which has debts of at least £1.7bn, is set to reveal a write-down of less than £100m - lower than its rivals. Analysts will ask how the company's land valuations have proved resilient, while the rest of the sector has seen savage losses. Last month, Taylor Wimpey slashed £1.5bn off the value of its landbank and other assets.

Some analysts suggest that the firm has been trying to sell huge tracts of land at knockdown prices in order to pay back banks which recently agreed a rescheduling of its debts.

The Observer