Housebuilder Fairbriar painted a grim picture of the housing market last Friday when it announced a pre-tax loss of £800,000 for the six months to 31 March.

The company said that the loss, which compared with a £400,000 profit in the first half of last year, was the result of delays at two of its developments and the “sluggish housing market”.

As a result of the poor financial performance, Fairbriar did not recommend an interim dividend.

Chairman Kevin McCabe said the market remained “challenging” but that he expected trading for the full year to pick up.

McCabe is in the process of an £18.6m management buyout, which has been recommended by the company’s directors. A document outlining details of the offer was sent out to shareholders in June.

McCabe said the he wanted to take the company private because its capitalisation was only £18m.