Demolition derby: Housebuilders trigger circuit breaker as their shares head for a second day of falls

 
Emma Haslett
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Housebuilders' shares fell on Friday - but analysts suggest this is a blip (Source: Getty)

Shares in all the FTSE 100-listed housebuilders were suspended from trading for five minutes this morning as housebuilders fell for the second consecutive trading day.

Taylor Wimpey was the first to trigger the London Stock Exchange's so-called circuit breaker by falling more than eight per cent on its opening price, causing it to be suspended for five minutes, as investors showed their nerves over the outcome of last week's EU referendum.

At lunchtime it was down 16.2 per cent, at 114p.

That was followed by Berkeley Group, the London-focused builder, which was down 13.2 per cent at 2,251p in lunchtime trading, as well as Barratt, which fell 20.7 per cent to 348.8p, and Persimmon, which dropped 17.4 per cent to 1,260p.

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FTSE 250-listed Crest Nicholson also triggered the circuit breaker. At lunchtime it was down 19.7 per cent, at 228.4p

The falls came after estate agent Foxtons became one of the first to issue a profit warning on the back of the vote, saying it expects "significantly lower" earnings this year.

However, analysts suggested the falls were temporary, rather than part of a longer trend.

"Time is relative. A week is a longer time in politics than it is housebuilding," said Jefferies analysts.

"We may start the week with many political uncertainties, but we remain certain that there is a fundamental shortage of housing.

"However, the strength and length of the autumn and the following spring selling seasons will, in our view, provide a better indicator of the health of the new build housing market. We will get colour on the cancellation rates during the July/August results season but will have to wait for the autumn trading updates for news on the autumn selling season."

"One theme raised in the post Brexit debate is that many voters were disillusioned with the growing inequality of wealth across the UK, asking 'What has Europe done for me?' For the vast majority of households, their home is their largest store of wealth and all political parties are very aware that homeownership is falling.

"Ahead of the referendum, turning the tide on the decline in homeownership was high on the political agenda and we expect it to remain so. An increase in homeownership (and implied household wealth) would be a useful tool for any post Brexit government to support the argument that we are better off out than in. It is our assessment therefore that Government support for the new build housing will remain firm."

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