Housebuilders lost yet more ground as Redrow told investors its sales in the past four months had halved compared with 2007. Financial Times, Daily Telegraph

Redrow’s trading update was among the gloomiest of the recent batch, which saw builders unveil ever-larger falls in sales as the situation in the mortgage markets has deteriorated.

Neil Fitzsimmons, chief executive, blamed prevailing market conditions, highlighting that 'things have been a lot tougher since Easter as criteria for lending have tightened, consumer confidence is strained and there are questions over where housing prices are going'.

The builder also warned that cancellation rates, where buyers walk away from small deposits, had soared in recent weeks, as banks had discontinued certain mortgage products.

The entire housebuilding sector was hit yesterday, with Bellway losing most with a 7.6% drop, followed by Barratt Development, down 6.6%.