Those who believe the worst is behind us this week cited the London Residential Opportunities fund launched by former Redrow boss Paul Pedley

Those who believe it is not, pointed to the failed attempt by land buying fund Landbank to attract enough investors for a flotation.

While the former hopes to make cash from the rental market and the latter planned to wheel and deal in land, the collapse of Landbank must be a concern for Pedley as he tries to build his book of investors.

Speaking a year to the day after housebuilders reached their share price nadir, Steven Morgan’s ex-right hand man at Redrow said: “A year ago it would have been more difficult and if we’d left it another year we would have missed the opportunity.”

It hasn’t been an easy sell. One City insider said: “They’ve been hawking it around for quite a while and have seen absolutely everyone in the City.”

“What I think killed off Landbank,” said Robin Hardy at KBC Peel Hunt, “was the realisation that not even Berkeley Group is getting land at good prices.”

Perversely, it could be the whiff of an upturn that makes life difficult for Pedley. Hardy added: “Housebuilders may be less inclined to sell to bulk buyers if they believe, rightly or wrongly, that there’s a queue of people round the block willing to pay asking price.”

Road to recovery? Combined market cap of top six housebuilders

7 July 2007

7 July 2008

7 July 2009