Shares in housebuilders rallied strongly yesterday after the Government lifted the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £175,000 and unveiled plans to help stimulate the housing market.

The long-awaited measures saw Persimmon climb 10% and Taylor Wimpey and Bovis Homes to both improve 8%, although Chancellor Alistair Darling was criticised for failing to go further to tackle the mortgage lending crisis.

Banks and mortgage lenders pointed out that the wider '£1bn package' might sound generous but was a drop in the ocean compared with the £4,000bn value of the housing market.

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent