Barratt Developments, the housebuilder, has called on the Government to increase the number of private homes bought by social housing groups in order to support the ailing property market.

Mark Clare, Barratt chief executive, made the comments after admitting profit margins are shrinking as Barratt aims to grow sales by offering potential buyers large discounts.

One in five of Barratt’s sales was supported by partexchange in the 19 weeks to Nov 9, the company said, and it is offering up to 43pc off on bulk buys of over five flats.

Daily Telegraph