Bellway chief executive John Watson has played down signs of recovery in the housebuilding sector, describing them as “a seasonal blip”.
Bellway joined the rest of the sector in reporting a pick up since Christmas after doubling its sales in the last 11 weeks, compared with the previous 11 weeks.
But Mr Watson said: “I am a cup half empty man. Everybody is getting a bit excited about the period since Christmas, but I think it is a seasonal blip.
“I cannot see it being a case of flicking a switch and everything returning to 2007 levels again.”
Bellway was sitting on £98.2 million of cash at the end of the six months to 31 January, and bosses are focusing on sales to generate more cash.
The Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based housebuilder is expecting to build just 2,000 new homes this year compared to 6,300 last year.
Mr Watson said: “We are in hibernation mode.”
Bellway’s half year results revealed a pre-tax loss of £48.6 million after £66.3 million of writedowns.
Mr Watson said he soon hoped to start buying land again once he was confident the bottom of the market had been met.