Capricorn Homes and Dalesmoor Homes go into administration as future darkens for small companies

Fallout from the credit crunch intensified for housebuilders this week after two more firms went into administration.

Capricorn Homes, which has developments in Yorkshire and Mayfair in London, was placed in administration on Tuesday.

The Guernsey-based company’s last accounts filed at Companies House reported a profit of £1.1m in 2005 on a turnover of over £7m.

The company had expressed a desire to increase turnover to £30m by this year as part of a three-year expansion programme.

Administrator KPMG confirmed that the failure was caused by the credit crunch.

Lancaster-based Dalesmoor Homes was placed into administration last Thursday.

An insider at the firm said: “It’s unfortunately just one of those things. The credit crunch is, of course, the problem.”

Dalesmoor has assets of £2.5m according to administrator PKF.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, it emerged that troubled housebuilder Barratt is demanding “discounts” of up to 10% from its subcontractors, in addition to earlier deductions.

One subcontractor said: “These so-called discounts are going back on signed and sealed fixed-price deals when subcontractors already have to absorb increases in labour, fuel and materials that have taken place since we agreed the price.”

Another said: “It’s like someone exchanging contracts on a Barratt house then a month later trying to renegotiate the price prior to completion.”

A Barratt spokesperson said: “The company’s policy is to agree any reductions in payments to subcontractors where market conditions allow and on a division-by-division basis. This process has been under way for some time and will continue while conditions remain tough.”

It’s not easy being small

Consort Homes (turnover £22m) – Went into administration in April with £20m-plus debts

Wren Homes (turnover £2.2m) – Failed to sell a home in the six months to 31 January 2008

Cotswoldgate Homes (turnover £13m) – Went into administration in April owing £3m to subcontractors