Housebuilders have supported a speech by Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, warning that the housing market had peaked.
Paul Pedley, chief executive of Redrow, whose price fell 7.5p to 326p after King's speech, described the warning as "incredibly responsible".

King told a CBI dinner in Scotland that the 20% growth in house prices increased the chances of a sharp correction in the market.

Pedley said: "I do not think what he said was negative – it's very strongly positive. The Bank of England does not want interest rates to get too high. They want to see the market settle down without too much medicine. It's incredibly responsible."

Pierre Williams, head of media at the House Builders Federation, also endorsed King's stance. He said: "It was something that needed to be said. The recent rises are unsustainable."

One construction analyst, however, warned that King's speech could have a serious impact on the market. Alastair Stewart of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein said: "This is a potentially damaging statement."

King's view was supported by a survey released by the RICS on Tuesday. It found that surveyors' confidence in the market was at its lowest since last July after interest rate rises in the past two months.