Bellway has warned that the spring selling season will show that the housing market has not yet recovered from the crash. In a trading update for the six months to 31 January, the firm said first-time buyers were still hamstrung by the level of deposits required for a mortgage

Charlie Campbell, an analyst at Liberum Capital, said: “Caution on the spring selling season will be taken badly by a nervous stock market.” Completions over the half year were 2,247 (2009: 2,014) and the average selling price remained steady at £156,000.