Housing reservations are still languishing at 60% below last year’s levels, according to confidential Home Builders Federation figures.

The statistics are understood to show the average reservation level per site per week across HBF members is about 0.3, compared to a figure of between 0.8 and 1 in 2007.

The news follows the revelation in April that reservation levels were two-thirds down on 2007 figures owing to the lack of mortgage availability.

An HBF spokesperson would not comment on the figures but said housebuilders were facing a “challenging market”. He said: “We’re pushing the government to take action because there are implications for job losses in the industry and repercussions for the wider economy.”

This week Persimmon said it was shedding “several hundred” staff as a result of the downturn. The announcement followed similar cuts by its rivals in recent weeks in which 2,000 housebuilding jobs have been lost.