Private housing starts in June slumped 60% to a new low, according to the NHBC.

The June figures show that private housing starts fell to 5,640, compared with almost 14,000 in the same month in 2007. The figure is the lowest since December 1990, when 5,356 homes were begun.

Social housing starts fell only 2% on this time last year.

The figures come as Scottish housebuilder Stewart Milne announced it was laying off 289 people, which is 20% of its staff.

The British Bankers Association said mortgage lending for new sales had fallen by two-thirds from the previous year. Just 21,118 deals were done in June.