Successive interest rate cuts and government intervention have not yet come to the aid of the troubled housebuilding sector, according to Bellway, which revealed sales at less than half last year’s level.

Commenting on the government’s plan to help homeowners with repossessions, Alistair Leitch, finance director, said it would have 'absolutely zero effect' on new housing.

'It will not entice Joe Public to buy a new property.'

Leitch said the 1.5 point fall last month had not brought more visitors to its building sites and yesterday’s 1 point cut was not expected to make a difference.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph