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House building confidence cools

THE HOUSING market is stalling and hitting house builders' plans to expand.

Latest victim is North-West house builder Morris Group which abandoned plans to float on the Stock Exchange last week.

Morris had hoped to raise around £10 million from a full listing to lay a foundation for further growth.

The decision to pull out follows Bovis Homes' float which managed to raise just £225.6 million, a far cry from expectations of between £250 and £300 million.

The decision does not bode well for Cumbrian house builder Merewood which announced its plans to go to the market recently.

This week Alan Cherry, chairman of Countryside Properties, stressed he was not taking improvements in the South-East housing market for granted.

He said: 'The recent increase in interest rates have already started to take some heat out of the South-East where house prices, particularly in London, have been increasing at unsustainable rates.'