Barratt’s £2.2bn takeover of Wilson Bowden took it to the top of the acquisitions league for the second quarter of 2007, in a table dominated housebuilders.

The deal, which briefly made Barratt the UK’s largest housebuilder before the merger of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey in July, was the largest completed by any listed company in the construction sector in the three months to 30 June.

The second-placed deal – the purchase by Sir Tom Hunter and HBOS’s consortium Castle Bidco of Crest Nicholson for £715m – was also in the housing sector.

These deals reflect increased takeover activity by housing firms as they battle for landbanks to combat delays in the planning system.

Mark Clare, Barratt chief executive, said the integration of Wilson Bowden was progressing well and ahead of plan.

Consolidation in the products and materials markets has also continued during the quarter. Irish materials group CRH made the biggest spend outside the housing sector, with international deals totalling £152.3m.

It exercised an option to buy out the remaining 50% stake in Florida firm Paver Systems, and also acquired a 50% stake in the Turkish company Denizli Cement, giving it joint control of the business Eren Holdings.

However, rival materials firm Wolseley, which featured prominently in the past two acquisitions leagues, did not carry out further purchases.

In the contracting sector, deals were dominated by the break-up of Amec, with Morgan Sindall, Roger Bullivant and French company Entrepose Contracting picking up a share of the spoils.