Barratt Developments and Redrow today warned that signs of stability in the UK housing market were being undermined by banks' reluctance to provide mortgage finance to borrowers.

Barratt said that it had witnessed a return to the traditional spring selling season this year for the first time since 2007. Visitor levels to new home developments were up 11.9% in the six months to June 30 compared with the previous six months.

Redrow, Barratt’s smaller Flintshire-based rival, also detected a 'relatively stable' market over the past six months, with private home sales up by 22%.

However, both said that a lack of mortgage finance was impairing recovery. Mark Clare, group chief executive of Barratt, said: 'The market is shut for an awful lot of people. It has removed the opportunity [for many people] to buy their first home.'

Financial Times, The Times, The Independent