Housebuilder Persimmon revealed that forward sales fell 14% last year and legal completions fell 5%, fuelling uncertainty over the UK housing market. FT, Times

In a trading statement, chief executive Mike Farley said he was optimistic that consumer confidence would return, but said that volumes were likely to be flat in 2008.

‘The change in direction of interest rates leads us to think there will be steady state on house prices next year,’ he said.

He said pre-tax profits would be in line with analyst expectations.