Home sales by Bellway, the UK’s third-biggest housebuilder, fell 38% in the six months to 31 January amid moribund housing and mortgage markets.

In a trading update yesterday, the Newcastle-based company said margins could fall more than 50%, compared with the 18.1% decline recorded in the same period last year.

However, the falls were broadly in line with analysts’ gloomy expectations of the housing market and the shares rose 31p to 643.5p.

Although Bellway is not thought to have cut prices as aggressively as some of its more deeply indebted competitors, it is still employing strategies to tempt buyers back into the market.

Financial Times