Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sharp decline in confidence knocks sales of new houses

Gabriel Rozenberg and James Rossiter

The fallout from the global credit squeeze claimed another victim on this side of the Atlantic as one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders yesterday blamed an abrupt turnaround in consumer confidence for a drop in house sales.
In one of the firmest indications yet that the housing market is slowing, Bovis said that its sales had fallen sharply over the past six weeks and it would now miss its full-year forecasts. Profits will come in at least 7 per cent below expectations.
The warning was seen as a sign that the problems in the US housing and finance markets were beginning to affect consumer confidence in the UK. The City is betting that conditions in Britain’s housing market are set to deteriorate — the value of Britain’s top seven housebuilders has fallen by £8.7 billion, a drop of 42 per cent, since April 6, calculations by The Times show.

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