House builders are spotting rising sales, but they have not factored in job losses in the wider economy.

Several house builders have reported signs of unexpected health in the housing market since the new year. Share prices of most builders are up – albeit modestly – since hitting recent lows at the end of January, helped by the fact that short sellers, who had been betting on further share price falls, seem to have become wary of a rising market and moved on.

Redrow, which has lost three-quarters of its value since the housing market peaked in August 2007, said in interim results yesterday it had been “mildly encouraged” by the rise in reservations since the new year.

Similar positive noises have been made in recent financial updates by fellow housebuilder Bellway, and Galliford Try, which builds houses, commercial property and infrastructure. And investors will be watching closely for further proof from Maple Quays’ developer Barratt, which reports results today, and Persimmon, which reports next Tuesday.

Financial Times