Berkeley chief executive Tony Pidgley has ruled his company out of the latest round of industry consolidation as any potential targets would be too expensive.
Berkeley had been tipped by many in the City as one of the housebuilders most likely to go into the market after Taylor Woodrow and Persimmon snapped up Bryant and Beazer respectively.

But Pidgley said: "There's no way we're going to buy anyone else at these enormous prices. There's no point, we don't need them, so why should we bother? "Of course, we'd look at it, but it would have to fit exactly and be at a good price for us, not them." Pidgley estimated that he would have to pay a premium of up to 40% for any firm.

Pidgley also denied rumours that his son, Tony W Pidgley, quit the company last week because of his father's reluctance to make an acquisition. He said: "I was very sorry to see him go but he left for his own reasons." Pidgley's departure last week led to concerns in the City over who would succeed his father.