Property stocks took a beating across the board yesterday as market nerves about the sub-prime sector and fears about the housing market returned to the fore. The Independent

Reports in recent days from the Nationwide Building Society and Hometrack have predicted a slowdown in the housing market. Barratt Developments was the biggest blue-chip faller yesterday, dropping 27.5p, or nearly 6%, to 465p.

Other property stocks and real estate investment trusts were down as well, as the market expressed nervousness about both residential and commercial property. British Land closed the day 42.5p down, at 860p. Liberty International bruised more, closing down 53p, at 1046p, and Land Securities Group was down 68p at 1460p.