And the January sales started early on the stock market. Shares in Berkeley group fell 7.5p to 529p earlier this week, despite better than expected half-year results. Turnover and operating profit both rose 27% to £611.3m and £109.7m, but the market got into a huff over Tony Pidgley's pronouncement that the best of the housing boom was over.
Market concerns have hit other housebuilders, too. Redrow issued an upbeat trading statement on Tuesday, but echoed Berkeley's warning; its shares fell 4p to 215p.
Other sectors are under the weather – literally, in the case of RMC, which cited "the early onset of winter" in a grim trading statement on Friday. The construction materials giant ended the day down 30.5p at 304p.
BIRSE announced an operating loss of £379,000 for the six months to October 2002, and its share price fell 11.6% to 9.5p. The contractor's results included the write-off the £5.5m it was owed by Leicester City for its new stadium.