An important problem for house builders is the orgy of land buying that many engaged in close to the peak of the market.
According to research by Arbuthnot Securities, Barratt, Bellway and Taylor Wimpey purchased almost all of their land banks since the start of 2005.
Persimmon and Redrow purchased only about 20% before that date.
But residential land prices in England and Wales are now well below where they stood at that point.
According to the government’s Valuation Office Agency, prices in London are 13% lower than in January 2005.