The full scale of the slump in the housebuilding sector has been revealed by figures which show that the number of new properties being built has fallen by more than two-thirds.
The National House-Building Council will say later this week that just 5,843 homes were built during August - a 69pc fall on the same month last year, when there were 18,970 house starts.
The figures confirm that the UK building industry is in the grip a major crisis, and comes a week after Taylor Wimpey, Britain's biggest housebuilder, announced a first-half loss of £1.5bn. The company said it was engaged in a "constructive dialogue" to amend some of its borrowing agreements.
So far an estimated 5,000 jobs have been axed by the housebuilders, as they attempt to cope with the slow down.