Shares in Barratt Developments led the house building sector higher as it revealed a US fund had increased its stake in the heavily-indebted company to more than 6%.

Polaris Capital Management, a Boston-based value fund manager, had previously bought a 5.73% stake in Barratt, whose shares have tumbled as the house building industry has suffered sharply lower sales volumes and weakening sales prices in the wake of the credit crunch.

After buying more shares, Polaris’s stake has risen to 6.19 per cent.

Shares in Barratt yesterday closed up 30.25p, or 23.6%, at 158.25p, while those in Taylor Wimpey finished up 7.25p, or 14.2%, at 58.5p. Persimmon shares rose 40.75p, or 11%, to 410.5p. Overall, the sector was up 10.7%.

Financil Times, The Times