Bovis, one of Britain’s largest house builders, is to halt speculative development of new homes next week as it struggles to deal with plummeting sales volumes.

Although the company said it would complete homes that have been reserved or pre-sold, it said it would be halting all other production over the summer to assess the market.

Chief executive David Ritchie said he would revisit the question of speculative development at the end of next month but could not guarantee normal construction would restart.

The company is cutting 40% of its workforce and will pay an interim dividend of just 5p, down from 20p the market had been expecting.

Daily Telegraph