Shares in Barratt Developments soared yesterday after reports that the housebuilder had reached a deal with banks over its finances.

The company's shares jumped more than 25 per cent after Building magazine reported that the housebuilder had reached an agreement with banks to waive a clause that would have put Barratt in breach of its banking covenants after a land valuation writedown later this year.

Analysts said the reported deal was a encouraging sign that banks would help not to allow housebuilders to break their covenants.

The agreement would make other refinancing options that have been mooted in recent weeks, such as a debt-equity swap or a share issue, much less likely for the sector's most indebted company.