Monday saw the credit crunch draw blood as £77bn was wiped off the stock market.

Contractors and housebuilders were caught in the crossfire, although Taylor Wimpey and Barratt managed to buck the trend as investors gambled that they had fallen about as far as they were going to.

Nerves steadied a little on Tuesday after the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates by three-quarters of a percent. Some said Monday’s crash could have been avoided if the Bank of England had done the same rather than hold them last week.

Either way, confidence in the housebuilding sector was badly dented. After the market had, according to one analyst, “gone all over the shop”, the concern was that shaky consumer sentiment would delay any recovery.

Recovery is a relative term, though. As Andy Brown at Panmure Gordon noted: “Persimmon was trading at £14.20 last May, now it's at £8. The bigger picture is a sector that has been under the cosh for a long time.”